LETTER: Cloning a nightmare for sheep - and farmers

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Sir: While vague and implausible references are made to possible reductions in human disease, the main gainers from cloning research are clearly the profit-seeking farming and pharmaceutical industries, which are rejoicing in the idea of producing animals who carry more "lean meat" and less fat, and are more resistant to disease.

Yet ewes are already struggling for life as they are pressured to produce not one but as many as five lambs, and to give birth as early as December. Surely creating ewes with less protective fat can only diminish their chances of survival. Already 4 million lambs (15-20 per cent of the total born) die every year within a few days of birth.

Becky Smith

Animal Aid

Tonbridge, Kent