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What does the British public think about human–animal hybrid embryos?
  1. David A Jones
  1. Dr David Albert Jones, St Mary’s University College, Waldegrave Road, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham TW1 4SX, UK; jonesd{at}


In the recent UK debate on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, there have been conflicting claims about the extent of public support for, or opposition to, human–animal hybrids. Self-selecting polls tend to show opposition to hybrids. Representative-sample polling shows spontaneous opposition but can elicit conditional approval of research, combined with underlying unease. Public opinion is very finely divided, with people generally opposed to this research unless it is likely to lead to medical advances.

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  • Competing interests: None declared.

  • i JCHTE, appendix 6, paragraphs 22, 28 (42 comments).4

  • ii Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA); appendix D, question 2: individual (736 responses).7

  • iii HFEA, appendix D, question 3: individual (736 responses).7

  • iv HFEA, appendix D, question 2: organisation (74 responses).7

  • v HFEA, appendix D, question 3: organisation (74 responses).7

  • vi HFEA, appendix G: question: “Do the potential benefits outweigh any ethical concerns?” (153 participants).7

  • vii Cf HFEA, appendix F, footnotes 3 and 4.7