Dog Cloning: Is it Ethical?

by Jennifer Tran, Editor-in-Chief

Cloning is the creation of an individual that is a genetic replica of another individual. Cloning a dog is a very new science with only recent findings of success.

A project at Texas A&M University, funded by a dog lover wishing to clone a beloved deceased pet, announced the first successful cloning of a domestic animal, a cat, in 2002. In 2005, the first successful cloning of a dog took place in South Korea. And recently, South Korean scientists made the world’s first commercial clones – five carbon copies of a heroic Pit Bull Terrier. The late Pit Bull Terrier was owned by an American woman, whose life the dog had saved.

Ethical concerns about whether cloning is right or wrong are often clouded by subjectivity, emotion and perspective. Cloning pets when strays crowd shelters is often seen as unethical, while others see cloning as an opportunity towards advancements in medical research.

Scientists consider dogs among the most difficult animals to clone because they have an unusual reproductive biology, more so than humans. Studies show that about 75 percent of cloning attempts fail to produce viable offspring. Those born alive often have compromised immune systems and higher rates of infection and tumor growth.

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