Transgenic animals are specially bred for research purposes, containing elements of two different species. The animals are often created with deliberate defects, which can lead to them having a bad quality of life. For instance, a mouse was bred which was genetically modified to develop cancer. While genetic modification is often cited as being used to eliminate the disease from animals, this is often far from the case when it comes to transgenic animals.
Away from the damage which can be done to the environment, transgenic animals pose serious questions in terms of morality. For instance, is it ethical to combine characteristics of two species and go against the “natural order” of what is supposed to be? Is it right to modify the genes of an animal for a specific purpose, unaware of any potential risks or unwanted side effects that could cause that animal to suffer? Researchers often want to conduct their research over long-term periods, meaning any animals they genetically modified to develop diseases could be suffering for a long time, to see how that disease develops.
While being testament to human achievement that we can now modify the genes of animals and crops, many issues are posed when it comes actually to implement that technology.