8.13.2008

NO pet should be cloned, let alone a pit bull

I would have much less of a problem with this incredibly selfish woman if she had paid a lot of money to buy a top of the line pit bull puppy. But to CREATE five pit bull puppies is beyond comprehension.

Cloning only replicates the DNA and not the environmental factors and influences that shape an animal's personality. You can't clone the bond between a pet and the person who loved and nurtured it over the pet's lifetime.

To clone a dead pet when there are so many others already born and waiting for homes is selfish, stupid and ultimately inhumane.

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Woman pays $50,000 to clone beloved pit bull
By Hyung-Jin Kim
The Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea — Bernann McKinney says her beloved pit bull “Booger” saved her life when another dog attacked her, then learned to push her wheelchair while she recovered from a severe hand injury and nerve damage.

He died in 2006, but now he’s back — at least in clone form, after the birth last week of puppies replicated by a South Korean company.

“Yes, I know you! You know me too!” McKinney cried joyfully Tuesday, hugging the puppy clones as they slept with one of their two surrogate mothers, both Korean mixed breed dogs, in a Seoul laboratory. “It’s a miracle.”

The five clones were created by Seoul-based RNL Bio in cooperation with a team of Seoul National University scientists who in 2005 created the world’s first cloned dog, a male Afghan hound named Snuppy.

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It is headed by Lee Byeong-chun, a former colleague of disgraced scientist Hwang Woo-suk, whose purported breakthroughs in stem cell research were revealed as fake. Independent tests, however, proved the team’s dog cloning was genuine.

Lee’s team has since cloned some 30 dogs and five wolves but claims Booger’s clones, for which McKinney paid $50,000, are the first successful commercial cloning of a canine.

The procedure, which costs up to $150,000, is drawing criticism from animal rights groups, which oppose cloning pets.

“It’s fraught with animal welfare concerns, and it does not bring back a loved one,” said Martin Stephens, vice president for animal research issues at The Humane Society of The United States, based in Washington.

“A dead animal’s DNA does not guarantee the offspring will be identical to the deceased. It takes more than just genes to create an animal,” said Stephens.

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He said the cloning process also subjects hundreds of dogs and cats to invasive procedures as egg donors and surrogates. According to a report released by The Humane Society in May, 3,656 cloned embryos, 319 egg donors and 214 surrogates were used to produce just five cloned dogs and 11 cloned cats who were able to survive 30 days past birth.

There are millions of homeless dogs and cats in the U.S., Stephens said, and “we don’t need new sources to compete with animal shelters and reputable breeders.”

Ra Jeong-chan, company head of RNL Bio, said his firm eventually aims to clone about 300 dogs per year and is also interested in duplicating camels for customers in the Middle East.






2 comments:

Humane Mewsings said...

This is a truly disturbing story! It's wonderful that she loved her pit bull, but to think of how many animals' lives could be saved with the $50,000 she spent is unreal.
When there are 5 million animals euthanized every year because of a lack of homes, cloning them is absolutely ludicrious.


- Maura
http://humanemewsingsblogspot.com

Anonymous said...

More money than brains.