Squirrel charity welcomes new legislation on use of gene editing

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The European Squirrel Initiative (ESI) has welcomed the introduction of new legislation to Parliament that is set to cut red tape on gene editing and will potentially make the first gene-edited products available by next year.

The Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill changes the laws in England to allow gene editing research to be used in the breeding of crops and livestock, and the ESI cites its potential as a solution to the wider problem of invasive alien species, including grey squirrel populations in the UK.

“ESI has funded research, through the Roslin Institute, into species-specific, humane and cost-effective solutions to managing invasive grey squirrel populations in the UK,” said Graham Taylor, ESI chairman.

“We welcome this change to the gene editing law, which we feel offers the opportunity for a realistic proposition for red squirrel conservation, while controlling the damage grey squirrels cause both economically and ecologically to the UK.”

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With more than 25 years' experience in business-to-business publishing, Simon is editor of LBM titles Pest and OvertheCounter. Big fan of Manchester United.