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<a href="http://www.thescotsman.co.uk/index.cfm?id=768342003" target="_blank">http://www.thescotsman.co.uk/index.cfm?id=768342003</a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><b>Dolly creators begin mass slaughter<br><br><br><br>
SHARON WARD<br><br><br><br>
THE Scottish company involved in the creation of Dolly the sheep will today begin a mass slaughter of its flock in an effort to cut costs in the face of mounting financial problems.<br><br><br><br>
PPL Therapeutics, the Midlothian-based biotechnology company, is to destroy up to 3,000 transgenic sheep at two farms in East Lothian as it struggles to survive after Bayer, the German pharmaceutical giant, pulled the plug on joint drug trials.<br><br><br><br>
The genetically modified sheep - kept in farms near Wallyford and Ormiston - were being monitored under the trials involving AAT, a drug which could slow the progress of diseases such as hereditary emphysema and cystic fibrosis.<br><br><br><br>
The sheep produced milk containing AAT but the cost of the trials has proved prohibitive. The sheep must be continually monitored for potential infections that could contaminate the flock, while there is additional expense in electronic tagging and keeping computerised records on the history and health of each animal.<br><br><br><br>
The animals must be slaughtered and incinerated on the same day under strict Home Office regulations to avoid environmental risks. Meat from the animals cannot be sold as food.<br><br><br><br>
PPL last night confirmed the slaughter of the sheep to The Scotsman, but could not confirm exact numbers.<br><br><br><br>
A spokeswoman said: "The sheep will be euthanased with full concern for animal welfare and in line with the necessary government regulations."<br><br><br><br>
Last month, the company announced that up to 140 jobs were to go after the AAT drug plans were dropped at its Scottish and New Zealand sites. Sheep in New Zealand are also due to be destroyed.<br><br><br><br>
The spokeswoman for PPL added: "On 18 June, Bayer Healthcare LLC and PPL Therapeutics plc announced that their joint transgenic AAT development programme was to be put on hold. In light of this announcement concerning the future of the transgenic AAT programme, PPL announced a significant restructuring of its business in order to substantially reduce its cash burn to below half its existing level.<br><br><br><br>
"Unfortunately, placing the AAT programme on hold has also meant that PPL can no longer support all its AAT sheep flock, and work is underway to reduce sheep numbers on its farms in both Scotland and New Zealand." Up to 3,000 sheep are kept in 500 acres of farmland in Scotland, with a further 3,500 on the 440-acre Waikato estate in New Zealand.<br><br><br><br>
PPL Therapeutics was established in 1987 to commercialise transgenic technology developed by the Roslin Institute, then called the Animal Breeding Research Organisation.<br><br><br><br>
The institute gained enormous worldwide publicity through Dolly, the worlds first cloned mammal, who was born in 1996.<br><br><br><br>
She who was put down earlier this year at the age of six after suffering from a lung tumour. The stuffed sheep was put on display at the Royal Museum in Edinburgh but today, moves to the Museum of Scottish Country Life in East Kilbride for the summer.<br><br><br><br>
Dr Donald Bruce, the director of the Church of Scotlands society, religion and technology project and the external member of PPLs ethics committee, said he was sad to hear of the flocks demise.<br><br><br><br>
He said: "There is a ruling on what happens once the trials end. If the experiments are over then the animals need to be destroyed. PPL has suffered from a really unfortunate set of events and made every effort to consider all their work in an ethical environment.<br><br><br><br>
"The implications for the animals of their research was small but the benefits to humans would have been fantastic. Ive watched their research for ten years and it was seen as a very reliable way of getting protein and would have been used for treating cystic fibrosis. Its sad."<br><br><br><br>
PPL said it hoped to retain some of the sheep in an effort to keep its hopes of developing transgenic technology alive.<br><br><br><br>
The spokeswoman said: "PPL is evaluating the option of keeping a significant number of its transgenic sheep to maintain the viability of its transgenic technology business."<br><br><br><br>
Doreen Graham, of the SSPCA, an animal welfare group, said sheep were slaughtered every day and that the society would have no concerns so long as the operation was carried out humanely.<br><br><br><br>
However, she added: "They seemed to be on the cusp of something new and its a shame that will have ended."<br><br><br><br>
Transgenic technology involves transferring a genetically engineered segment of DNA into the genetic material of another species.<br><br><br><br>
Dr Bruce said: "Using sheep to find better ways to reproduce pharmaceutical proteins in milk, the original reason why Roslin and PPL got into sheep cloning, is ethically acceptable.<br><br><br><br>
"PPL continued with a good ethical performance, but unfortunately the AAT research takes a long time and could take years. The companies involved werent able to wait."<br><br><br><br>
PPL is now trying to persuade investors to support the restructuring programme after some of its largest shareholders criticised the strategy.<br><br><br><br>
The restructuring was forced by Bayer putting its main research programme on hold.</b></div>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">"Using sheep to find better ways to reproduce pharmaceutical proteins in milk, the original reason why Roslin and PPL got into sheep cloning, is ethically acceptable."</div>
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What a waste of sheep ...... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Doreen Graham, of the SSPCA, an animal welfare group, said sheep were slaughtered every day and that the society would have no concerns so long as the operation was carried out humanely.</div>
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No concerns? None at all...... And how does one <b>slaughter</b> humanely?<br><br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("><br><br>
Danny
 

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Charming.... sometimes I love modern science.... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/mad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":mad:">
 

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Why did Bayer pull the plug? Wasn't Bayer one of these companies being advocated as being really bad pretty recently?<br><br><br><br>
Is it possible that the negative publicty with Bayer has just prompted Bayer to sever some of the ties they have to controversial areas.... thus causing financial hardship to the sheep place leaving them little options on what do?<br><br><br><br>
I do not know the details, not the whole story surrounding any action against bayer, if any, or bayer's reasoning in stopping support. So this is basically just thinking out loud.
 
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