University of Guelph culls last Enviropigs

GE program in jeopardy after failed funding search

The University of Guelph quietly culled its 10 last genetically modified “Enviropigs” late last month, pushing the controversial GE initiative closer to extinction.

The program, which aims to reduce the waste from factory farms by producing pigs with low-phosphorus feces, kicked off in 1999. The recently euthanized pigs were the 10th generation of swine at the Ontario university that had mouse DNA introduced to their chromosomes.

Earlier this spring, Ontario Pork pulled its financial support of the program, and the University of Guelph decided to cull the pigs after failing to find another source of funding, Postmedia News reports.

New York-based animal advocacy group Farm Sanctuary had launched a campaign to find homes for the last Enviropigs, but University of Guelph spokesperson Lori Bona Hunt told Postmedia that was impossible.”Releasing the Enviropigs would have violated Canadian regulations for the containment and use of transgenic animals, and possibly compromised consumer safety and market protection,” she said.