Abstract

Developments in animal biotechnology are debated in a lively manner, not only in the Netherlands, but in many other countries as well. This technology mobilizes strong forces in society. On the one hand it is said that it holds a promise for the production of vital life-saving preparations and huge economic benefits, on the other hand it seems to reduce animals - our fellow creatures, closely related to us - to production machines. People have the strong conviction that the development of animal biotechnology is morally problematic and that to secure some basic values public policy is necessary.1 What are the anxieties and which basic values are at stake? That is the question we want to answer in this article. In doing so we shall refer to public debate in the Netherlands, which concentrates on transgenic (farm) animals, because it is our strong conviction that (at least some of) the issues which are being discussed in our country will arise in any discussion about moral questions in animal biotechnology.

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