Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Horses, Dogs and Cats Cloning


I have an old dog FIDO who I am truly devoted to who is also devoted to me and at 15 years old I consider each new year we are lucky enough to still have him with us is a bonus.

While doing some research for my other site I came across a news article about Horse and Donkey Cloning , and on further research found it would even be possible to clone FIDO.

Now this got me thinking would it be right to clone FIDO or when it is his time allow his time to pass and remember him for the great companion he has been.

The article about horse cloning is here BBC Article First Horse Cloning back from 2003 which covers cloning a very pretty Haflinger Prometea in Italy and a Mule in Idaho.

Now the interesting addition to the story is just this year Prometea has given birth to a colt Pegaso, story here Prometea Has A Colt

Of course because these things cost money and because of the money in Horse Racing most of the discussions are with regard to Horse Racing , but it does raise a number of other questions in my own mind about the whole ethical question of Cloning and if it took off just how far it could go.

I just wondered on other's thoughts on cloning dogs, cats and horses

22 comments:

Callie said...

I'm afraid, my Darling, as much as I love our Fido, your Fido, I'm not sure if I could handle another 15 years of orders and demands being barked at us!

ell said...

Just imagine, You could live through the death of that favorite dog over and over and over again. The psychologist in me would love to study the full implications of this new technology.

ranchette said...

I'm on the fence. Scientifically I think "SWEEEEET!" But it just seems like we'd manage to screw this up somehow. How many "clones" would we have made of Secretariat? Talk about flooding the gene pool with line breeding. ;-) On the other hand, the issue of gelded sport horses is very interesting - think about all the great steeplechase geldings that have never passed on their good genes. So basically, I'm no help - I can play devil's advocate on both sides for this one.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Well first of all I don't know if I can put much stock in any opinion or scientific knowledge from a Professor named Twink. That said I read both articles and don't think that for me personally I would do it.
I have had wonderful dogs and my horse who died last year. I miss them but remember them with love.They were individuals and each was one of a kind and real characters. I don't oppose any of this because of religious reasons either. I'm just of the opinion that if you have a winner go with that animal for as long as you have them with you. There is nothing to prove that a winning horse(in any discipline) can be duplicated by simply using the same genes. There are other influences that make a champion a champion. Training, owners treatment,personalities,
heart, where they lived what they ate, there are just too many things that can go wrong. Instead of fooling around with cloning champions for breeding and hopefully money makers, how about putting some of that money and knowledge into finding a cure for childhood diseases, cancer etc. I think it's a little frivolous to be cloning when so much more research could be done for the good of humanity. I'm sure somewhere along the line they will find something they have done wrong with this and the animals will suffer.

Twisted Oaks Quarter Horses said...

I wouldn't do it, not only because I think that it is going to far, it's my opinion that Man cannot compete with Jehovah God. Before I offend the non-religious of the blog world, I have to say that they have yet had any great success with the clones. The articles that I have read record early deaths, genetic defects that never surfaced in the original gene pool; color, sex, disposition are not guaranteed to be that of the donor. It is not know if they will have the ability to run, slide, cut, jump, ect like the donor. I can think of far better things to do with 100,000 to 200,000 dollars. Think about the Stephen King book, Pet Cemetery.

Rising Rainbow said...

I'm with twisted oaks on this. I think cloning could end up a real mess. Scientists are so sure they have all the answers until they're proved wrong. Then we've been left with some awful consequences. Anyone remember thalidomide babies? I'd hate to see what kind of repercussions there could be from cloning.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Did you know that Charmayne James(11 time NFR Champion Barrel Racer) cloned her great horse, Scamper? He took her to 10 of those World Champion titles. I am curious to see how this turns out.
I don't know if I would clone my favorite old mare, but I sure wished I could afford to flush her eggs and have some other mares raise her babies. Now that I know what her foals are capable of-I wished I had a whole bunch more of them.

Pony Girl said...

Grey Horse Matters, you have a great point. It's the whole nuture versus nature theory. I think genetics plays a large part in a horse having talent, but to get that talent to shine and for that horse to perform, it takes a horse that is well socialized, trained, conditioned, etc. You could not replicate this exactly for a cloned horse.
And honestly, I just think it's kind of creepy. It'd be like my horse rising from the dead. Well, that is a little dramatic, but you know what I mean, lol! ;)

cdncowgirl said...

"Now this got me thinking would it be right to clone FIDO or when it is his time allow his time to pass and remember him for the great companion he has been."

IMO the answer is NO! You would be getting a genetic clone. Not an exact physical duplicate. And that's just for the "outside". Any human or animal is more than its genetic makeup.
A creature gets to be who he/she is because of all the experiences in their life.
You just can never duplicate the real "them".

Callie said...

I find everyone's opinion very interesting here. Personally, I'm not sure how I feel about it. I think I'll have to go with Ranchette on this one and sit on the fence.

The People History said...

Thanks for your comments, I dont think I would ever clone FIDO, even if I had the money because some things in life should not be messed with, plus I agree with cdncowgirl that Fido is the great friend and companion because of nurturing over those 15 years and all the events and circumstances surrounding him would never be the same .

But I still dread the day when he leaves us .

As for the science it is just to scary to think of how it could be abused .

thanks for your comments

steve

kdwhorses said...

In my personnel opinion I would not do it. I just do not think cloning will get you the same horse, dog, cat, whatever it is you are cloning. Each animal is a individual and have there own personalities. I love my animals tons but feel when it is there time to go I must let them go on. And remember them in my heart forever! Isn't that the natural course of life, for us, animals, etc.? I think there are some things we should not mess with. And I agree with Grey Horse Matters-why are we not pouring all this money into finding cures for all the terimanl illnesses out there? I truly think that the money should be used elsewhere, but of course they didn't ask me! LOL! Great discussion Callie!

kdwhorses said...

Hey I can not find where you had the ratio for bleach to water in the trough. Please let me know, I am going to try it. Thanks!

Callie said...

I'm afraid I'll have to give credit to starting the discussion to my Hubby who wrote the post. In some ways I think that the science behind it all could be helpful , however, in the wrong hands, which is more likely than not, it could be very dangerous!

Denise- LessIsMore17 said...

I would never clone any of my animals...I just think science has gone too far and that it's just wrong. "They" wouldn't be the same and I think we would expect them to be the same in everything and esp in horses I think that could really pose training probs.

dickiebo said...

I go along with the more 'open-minded' people. I just do not know. I think I'd OK cloning for medical research (under strictest supervision, of course) but I wouldn't be inclined to clone simply to re-produce another of a kind.

cdncowgirl said...

I read about Charmayne cloning Scamper. Seems the reasoning was to breed them seeing as Scamper's a gelding. Even in that case I disagree. Not all great horses get their "greatness" solely from their physical components.
Not to mention there are SO many horses out there already. We should be scaling back breeding not adding more horses. (Not bashing breeders, I think there just needs to be less breeding)

jamie said...

I'm agin it myself....."It's not nice to fool Mother Nature"....
:)

Midlife Mom said...

Nope, wouldn't even consider it. I agree with Rising Rainbow, we as humans could really mess things up. I just don't think you would have the same dog, I don't think they can clone personality.

Shirley said...

I agree with the majority of the comments on this. Cloning will not get you the same animal back, just one that looks like it and will be subject to environmental, nutritional, pscychological and emotional differences from the original.And, as I am a religious person, I don't think we should mess with creation- that is God's perogitave.

Strawberry Lane said...

Interesting you should post this subject of cloning. When my horse Ebony died 2 years ago, I would have cloned him in a second had it been possible.

After time has passed, I'm able to realize it wouldn't be the same horse. It might look like him, act like him, but would lack the experiences that made Ebony the love of my life. However, I didn't have the choice.

But I did meet "Royal" who became the second love of my life. And ... I bought him on Ebony's birthday. I guess that is about as close as I'll get to cloning.

Now, would I clone Royal. I'm back on the fence.

Glenn said...

Hi all,

Glenn the Geek here from the Horse Radio Network. We just did a Stable Scoop episode on cloning. We spoke to two of the leading experts in the country on the subject and answered many of the things brought up here. Check it out at:

http://stablescoop.horseradionetwork.com/2008/10/25/stable-scoop-episode-11-the-cloning-episode-with-viagen/

We think you will find it informative.

Glenn the Geek
www.stablescoop.com