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Preserving animal species through in vitro fertilisation

According to our Facebook followers, in vitro fertilisation (ivf) may be used to save threatened species from extinction. Eighteen people responded to our statement. Only one follower did not agree.

As part of the ivf process, one or more eggs are fertilized outside the body, after which they are placed back in the uterus. Once this has happened, there is a waiting period to see if the embryo is able to develop further. In the case of animals, the embryo is also referred to as the “germ”.

Kelly Weustink thinks it an excellent idea. “Absolutely!”, is her statement. “Why is it possible for people and not for animals? There are already too many people, but unfortunately, there are not enough animals, anymore…”

Whether to help animals reproduce

Some people believe that we can save animals with the support of this type of reproduction technique. “Yes, as most animal species are threatened with extinction by humans, humans should provide a solution to this issue”, says Ineke Allis-Sicherer. “Yes, why not. Some animals are used as guinea pigs to help people. Thus, now, people can assist animals further”, replies Christel Wetzelaar-Trompetter.

Caring for threatened species

At the same time, Ineke Jansen-Alblas is of the opinion that we ought to take care that “no more animal species will go extinct because of the stupidity of human behaviour, its greed and gluttony… Ivf should not become a solution to problems that humans created in the first place”. Finally, Hans van Burik finds a solution to preserve threatened animal species. “It is also possible to make use of surrogate mothers and to freeze sperm…”

The red list

Do you want to know which species are threatened with extinction? The IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, established a “red list” of threatened species. It is the most comprehensive and widely used information source on the status of animal- and plant species around the world. The types of animal species are divided into different categories, ranging from critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable, near threatened, to least concern. The list also marks which species have been extinct in the wild.