20 Jun 2011 - 20 Jun 2011, 13:30-18:00, Auditorium 'Silva Casa', WTI, Berne

(Sui Generis) Rights to Animal Genetic Resources

At the background of the inquiry into the creation of rights to animal genetic resources lie different strands of thinking and various lines of arguments. These are fueled by three major developments in the AnGR sector: the increasing volume in trade in animal products; the scientific progress in animal breeding with the advances in genetic engineering; and the so-called erosion of animal genetic resources. The present workshop addresses two issues against this background: the need for animal breeders' rights - in analogy to plant breeders' rights - and the need for livestock keepers' rights - in analogy to farmers' rights.

Animal Breeders' Rights:

Analysing the regulatory framework of innovation in the realm of animal genetic resources delivers an immediate astonishment. Whereas IP systems to protect plant varieties have been developed since the 1930s, no such system has been conceived or even thoroughly studied in relation to animal breeds. The question is whether this is rooted in a lack of necessity, biological obstacles, or in a simple lack of (policy) analysis. We present the hypothesis that the creation of such a system could – if properly tailored thereto – respond to a number of needs. We identify and analyse the elements which can call for the implementation of ‘Animal Breeders’ Rights’: innovation, the conservation and use of biodiversity, and economic development of agricultural regions. Then, we look at the eventual obstacles to finally address the concrete shape it could take.


Livestock Keepers' Rights:

Institutionalise Livestock Keepers’ Rights as sui generis rights? Do so in the framework of a Treaty on AnGRFA? Which elements would the rights have to encompass, in particular at the interface with markets, the ABS system and intellectual property rights? What can be learned from the model of farmers’ rights as formalised in the ITPGRFA and its implementation?