Copycat culture: is it wrong to clone a beloved dead pet?

Barbra Streisand has revealed that she has created copies of her dog – but the ethics should give others paws for thought

Barbra Streisand has revealed that she had two clones made of her dog Samantha after her beloved coton de tulear died last year. This follows the fashion designer Diane von Furstenburg cloning her dog two years ago. Although pet cloning is illegal in some countries – including the UK – it appears to be a burgeoning international industry. The first pet to be cloned was a cat at Texas A&M University in 2001, while the first dog was cloned at Seoul National University in 2005. So, how exactly does one clone a pet?

1 The first thing anyone wishing to clone an animal needs is money. The US company Viagen, a market leader, charges $50,000 (£36,000) to clone a dog and $25,000 to clone a cat. It describes these animals as “an identical twin of the donor pet that is born at a later date”. For $1,600, you can genetically preserve your pet by freezing a tissue sample, thus keeping your options open. The dog in question doesn’t have any options, obviously.

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Guardian Lifestyle - Wed, 28 Feb 2018 14:46:13 GMT

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