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28/06/2013

People warned to steer clear of cruel UK dog cloning competition

A South Korean cloning company has recently launched a contest for UK dog owners where the prize is a 70% discount off the price of getting their beloved pet cloned. However, people who care about animals should steer well clear!

Sooam Biotech Research Foundation has been cloning dogs mainly for U.S. customers. Now, in an effort to expand into the British market, the company has launched a dog cloning competition where pet owners are being asked to submit a 500 word essay before the 1st of July explaining why their dog should be cloned. The winning applicant will receive 70% off the cloning fee and can have their pet cloned for £20,000. 

People who care about animals should not be tempted as cloning is a very unpredictable and extremely wasteful process. In order to produce just one ‘perfect’ clone, many puppies with the same genes as a loved pet will be born. Some of these puppies will be aborted or will die soon after birth from unpredictable health complications and severe birth defects. In addition, a large number of egg donor and surrogate female dogs are also used in this cruel process and subjected to surgical procedures as well as caesarean sections and miscarriages that are likely to cause pain and considerable distress.

As well as the number of dogs killed in the cloning process, many other innocent animals will previously have been subjected to cruel cloning research experiments in these laboratories in attempts to improve cloning techniques. 

The cloning project is headed by former stem cell researcher Hwang Woo-suk, who was previously given a two year suspended prison sentence in 2009 for embezzlement and bioethical violations. Some of his papers related to cloning had to be retracted as they were found to have been falsified.3

Sources:

1. UK Dog Owners Offered 70% Discount on Cloning by S Korean ‘Mammoth Scientist’. (2013). The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/06/03/dog-cloning-south-korea-sooam-brf-_n_3378398.html

2. Sooam Biotech Research Foundation website: http://en.sooam.com/html/?code=B01&div=30v 

3. Disgraced Cloning Expert Convicted in South Korea. (2009). The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/27/world/asia/27clone.html 

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