Open Season Is Seen in Gene Editing of Animals
November 25, 2015
A calf, left, approximately the same age as the first two genetically modified calves to have their DNA edited so that they do not grow horns, right. Credit Jenn Ackerman for The New York Times
SIOUX CENTER, Iowa — Other than the few small luxuries afforded them, like private access to a large patch of grass, there was nothing to mark the two hornless dairy calves born last spring at a breeding facility here as early specimens in a new era of humanity’s dominion over nature.
But unlike a vast majority of their dairy brethren, these calves, both bulls, will never sprout horns. That means they will not need to undergo dehorning, routinely performed by farmers to prevent injuries and a procedure that the American Veterinary Medical Association says is “considered to be quite painful.”