Do Australians support genetic technology to control feral animals?

E. Phiddian,  COSMOS,  2022.

Synthetic biology and genetic technology could be a safer, more humane way of curbing invasive species. Feral cat populations, for instance, could be controlled by preventing them from breeding. But there’s no point trying a new technology it if it doesn’t have public support – so does synthetic biology pass the pub test? According to a report from the CSIRO, it just might. Their survey of nearly 4,000 Australians finds that most support the idea of using gene drives on feral cats.“This particular study builds on our public acceptability work over the last three to four years on synthetic biology solutions to significant national challenges,” says Dr Aditi Mankad, co-author of the report and a researcher at CSIRO Land & Water’s Sustainability Pathways Program.

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