What role can gene editing play in predator control? And are we ready to accept it?

K. Green,  Stuff,  2022.

The once-forbidden concept of gene editing for predator control is back on the table after two projects receivedGovernment funding. Despite advances overseas, experts are worried research in New Zealand will never make it out of the lab, with no plans to change current restrictive laws. Appetite for gene editing has always been low among the New Zealand public. In 1999, 20,000 people protested in Auckland alone, marching down Auckland’s Queen St calling for a ban on genetically engineered crops. Gene editing joined nuclear-free as a hallmark of clean, green New Zealand. However last month, the crown entity responsible for pest control, Predator Free 2050, announced investment of $6.7 million into research projects, including $2.25m to investigate whether recent overseas advances in producing mice of only one sex could be adapted for rats, and $200,000 to explore stoat breeding genetics, and whether that could be used for control.

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