There have been a number of advancements in modern animal biotechnology, with the ability to clone animals being an interesting breakthrough. Transgenic farm animals have been used as bioreactors for the purpose of producing large amounts of medicines. The globalised trade in live animals, animal products and feed is leading to an increasing threat of infectious diseases world-wide, enabling the spread of infectious diseases to new regions, countries and continents.
To prevent the spread of infectious diseases, it is critical to identify infectious agents rapidly and accurately and to control the disease efficiently. Biotechnology is contributing to the development of diagnostic assays for early pathogen detection, and “provides the means by which novel and effective tools can be specifically designed for control and eradication”.
Throughout Australia, the majority of animal biotechnology research is focused on “increasing the nutrition levels of animal feed; disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention; mapping the genetic profile of animal species to understand gene function; and controlling pest animal species”.