Friday, April 9, 2010

Cloning: for sentimental reasons?

Apparently cloning is not just province of breeders and investors -- owners are cloning their horses -- not for breeding, but as pets -- the to the tune of $160,000. The Humane Society even has an official position on pet cloning. Companies like PerPETuate offer housepet cloning services.

Pictured right is a clone from the castrated endurance horse, Pieraz, a purebred Arab.

Horsing around with nature? Big money rides on clone rules

Cloning proponents, foes argue about whether they should get registration papers

April 04, 2010|By Stephen Hudak, ORLANDO SENTINEL
OCALA — The chestnut stallion was the love of Zarela Olsen's life.
A majestic hall-of-fame horse with personality and a copper coat bright as a new penny, Capuchino often greeted his fawning owner with kisses, nuzzling her neck and licking the back of her ears.
"When he died, he took my heart with him," said Olsen, 46, of the Paso Fino horse who died in Ocala in 2009. "I could not stop crying and crying."
But Olsen had planned ahead, investing $160,000 in the replicating services of a biotech company specializing in the controversial practice of animal cloning.
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  1. ha.
    The Arabian Horse Association (USA group) has taken the stance that clones are not registerable.

    What everyone else does? I dunno. But since there are some very pretty stallions in the halter world in AHA that are for all intents, sterile (low motility sperm), there has been some discussion about cloning to try to get breeding semen from the clone.


  2. I would have loved to have cloned my first horse, Russell and perhaps my PJ as well. But, it's only the dream of being able to do it all over with the new knowledge I have now. As much as I miss them both, a clone would never be the same far as I know...just the same body.

  3. Maybe it sounds awful to some, but I'd clone my horse Merlin in a heartbeat - he is the absolute true love of my life, and the thought of having 'someone' related to him in my stable in the future would be happiness itself to me - I can't have children, and I can only say that this is the next best thing to me - he's a gelding so he couldn't breed naturally, and any horse I ever own is provided for in my will and will never under any circumstances leave my hands. I know some people will disagree, but I lost my cat last year and it near enough broke my heart. Merlin should have years ahead of him, but this is something I would very seriously consider.

  4. Cloning presents so many health issues, it just does not seem worth it IMO.

  5. hmm.. a photo of a misbehaving cloned horse is not good PR for cloning.
    I don't want to pay the steep price, there are always nice animals needing a good home. A few days ago, a neighbors horse got out on the road. I helped her to get the horse secured in a corral. The horse is totally untrained 6 yrs old, but a real gentle sweetheart and nice conformation. The horse belongs to the neighbor's grandson who says he will give me the horse. Now, should I clone something which might turn out bad or take a sweet gelding who lives in a corral of old barbed wire?

  6. When I lost My old man Hobo, I would have also cloned him in a heartbeat if i had the money. I sunk into a pretty deep depression after loosing him. You can bet If I had the money, I would definately have him cloned.

  7. I don't know what I think about this. My husband and I recently lost both our cats within a year of each other - they were about the same age and both died of age related illness. It just about killed me, when we had to put our second cat to sleep I sat out in the vet's parking lot and just sobbed because I couldn't drive. Then we got a new cat, a Siamese.

    Here's the point I'm getting to - the cat we adopted was stepping into some pretty big shoes. Not only did he have to live up to the cat which had just died, who was pretty much the best cat I have ever owned, super-intelligent, beautiful, loving, but he also had to meet my expectations of a Siamese based on my memories of my childhood pet. I spent a lot of days being very unfair in my mind to that poor little kitten. He wouldn't sit on my lap like our old cat did; he's just not a lap-sitter and is never going to like lap-sitting. And that made me sad. I wanted my old cat to come sit on my lap. My old cat used to play a game where he would climb up the side of the doorframe and hand upside down. I tried to teach the kitten to do this, and instead, the kitten's thing is he would jump up and grab your hand. Old cat used to like the liquid drained from a can of tuna. New cat doesn't much like tuna.

    In the beginning I spent a lot of time being upset because my new cat wasn't like my old cat. If I could have, I would have cloned my old cat in a heartbeat. AND THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN WRONG. Because my new cat is a great cat. He has his own things he does. He has a stuffed fish and he likes to throw it up in the air and catch it. If he's bored, he will throw it up and try to hit me in the back of the head with it while I'm at the computer. Type type type SMACK with a fish in the back of the head. And I turn around and he's like, "What? Come play with me." He likes to eat tofu and the icing out of lemon cookies. What kind of cat eats tofu and cookie filling, but not tuna fish? Every night when I go to bed, he has to go upstairs with me, slowly parading up the stairs in front of me, and my husband has to go too, even if he's not coming to bed right away, or the cat comes and gets him and pats his arm until he gives in. He's a great cat and I love him. I'm learning to love a new cat in new ways. I don't need to live my life over, I need to move on with my life. And the world is richer because there were two cats and they were different.

  8. I think people believe that if they clone their horse it will be exactly like the horse they lost. That simply is not true. They may be genetically the same, but what made the horse/ dog/ cat/ etc so special was not his genetics but his personality and quirks. The clone will not have all the same environmental experiences that shaped the first animal and therefore will not be exactly the same.

    I miss my horse Hope terribly, even today, over 10 years later, I still cry for her. A clone would not have been Hope though, cloning is not a resurrection machine. The clone may have been genetically the same but to assume that we would have bonded the same, I really don't think so. Even if it were possible I think it would have been a disservice to Hope's memory to assume that a clone could take her place.

  9. I watched a piece about an older man who had really gentle brahma bull, a rather rare creature. He had him cloned after the bull died. The clone was a mean SOB who put the man in the hospital several times. Who can say what forces go into making personalities? It is more than just DNA.

  10. The thing is, people cloning a horse thinking they're re-create the horse they loved is going to fail as much as parents having another kid after one dies and attempting to force that kid to be the dead kid. It's unhealthy for both sides. Identical twins have the same DNA and are very different individuals - cloning results in even more differences because the state of the mare carrying the baby makes a difference in height, color doesn't come out exactly the same, upbringing drastically changes personality, different genes may express themselves, etc.

    The place where cloning makes more sense to me is, for example, Gem Twist (and clone Gemini). Gem Twist was a supremely talented gelding. A clone is unlikely to have the matching athletic prowess and attitude, but it will have the identical DNA. Therefore, it will be no different from breeding to the original even if the performance isn't there. Of course, it will highlight to people who don't get the riskiness of breeding that you just don't know what you'll get, regardless of how good the parents are. (Interestingly, they do hope to compete Gemini, who the first articles I read all indicated he was just for breeding.)

  11. I'm all for cloning in the name of science to solve medical problems, etc., but you could buy a heck of a wonderful horse for $160,000 that was bred the old fashioned way and there are so many great horses out in the world and a shortage of homes for the ones that already exist. Sounds like a play on rich people's emotions, to me. I love my horses too, but know that there are plenty of other great horses out there, maybe not with the same charming personality traits as my guys, but other unique traits that are just as charming.

  12. I don't believe in cloning. Never will. It is like opening Pandora's Box. I think it present way too many ethical issues. Sorry ....

    As much as I love my animals, I also realize there are others out there waiting to be loved just as much.


  13. I'm fine with cloning as long as it is done responsibly. I recognize that it is a big medical debate of the current era. But looking to the past - yesterday's medical debates often seem "quaint" or "obvious" to tomorrow's generations. In time, I think, cloning will become the same.

    Would I clone a pet today though? I've asked myself that already. No - I wouldn't because of cost. I feel that currently there are too many homeless pets and my money could go to better use. When my beloved cat died at Christmas, I left a donation with my local shelter.

  14. I have no problem with the cloning research that is going on, it's something that's going to happen eventually. Cloning something and expecting the same personality is a crap shoot IMHO. For the price of a clone, you can get multiple quality horses. It's just not cost effective. When my horse died, I was also in a funk for months. When I was a little kid, our neighbor was a respected trainer. He said when his favorite mare died he had a breakdown and spent some time in a state mental hospital. (He said the nurses were "so mean they douched with gunpowder and vinegar." One flew over the cuckoos nest stuff.) From anecdotes I heard later, it sounds like he suffered from depression and the death of his mare sent him over the edge.

  15. The AQHA sent me a ballot late last year to see what I felt about cloning - apparently they wanted to get a feel from members what thoughts were before making a decision one way or the other.

    I am against the registration of clones. All the QHs that have been cloned are for purely monetary reasons - Charmayne James wants to breed barrel racers "sired" by Scamper (yet the clone isn't a world champion barrel racer, so why anyone would think he could pass on talent is beyond me), and there were a bunch of other stallions that were nearing the end of their breeding age that owners cloned so they could continue to produce offspring from the same lines (sadly, a lot of HYPP N/H crap).

  16. I really want to know how and who are doing this work as i m also having one castrated Endurance horse of Indian Breed at this level he is giving me speed of 20 km/hr and i purchased him at age of 5 years now he is of 11 years and i want to have his blood line and he is unknown unregistered horse so i think only way is Cloning so i want to know who are doing this all and what is the cost of that

  17. I really want to know how and who are doing this work as i m also having one castrated Endurance horse of Indian Breed at this level he is giving me speed of 20 km/hr (he is only endurance horse in his blood line) and i purchased him at age of 5 years now he is of 11 years and i want to have his blood line and he is unknown unregistered horse (Registration work on this breed is started now only )so i think only way is Cloning so i want to know who are doing this all and what is the cost of that


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