Understanding pet cloning.

You can now clone your pet. Image: Pixabay

Spanish clinic offers first pet cloning service

A clinic in Marbella, Spain, has pioneered pet cloning services, enabling owners to create genetic copies of their cats or dogs for a hefty price tag…

Understanding pet cloning.

You can now clone your pet. Image: Pixabay

A clinic in Marbella has become the first in Spain to offer pet cloning, allowing owners to create a genetic copy of their beloved cat or dog for around €55,000 (R1,067,745.25).

Pet Cloning Technology Gains Traction

The technology behind animal cloning gained widespread attention in 1996 with the successful cloning of Dolly the sheep from an adult cell by scientists at the Roslin Institute in Scotland. Since then, its use has become more common, particularly for high-value animals like camels and horses, where cloning costs can reach €75,000 (R1,455,802.50).

According to the Olive Press, Grupo OVO clinic, run by embryologist Enrique Criado, has already completed five dog clones for Spanish clients and hopes to expand their services to neighbouring countries like France and Portugal. Cloning a dog carries a price tag of around €55,000, while cloning a cat is slightly less expensive at €50,000 (R970,325.00).

The Process

The pet cloning process involves replicating an animal’s genetic makeup by extracting a DNA sample from its skin tissue. Scientists then cultivate these cells. After culturing, they remove the nucleus from the cells before inserting it into a previously enucleated egg from the same species. The scientists then implant this embryo, containing 99.9% of the original animal’s genetic material, into a surrogate female for gestation.

Pet Cloning: Not an Identical Replica

It’s important to note that while the cloned animal will share a very similar genetic makeup with the original pet, it won’t be an exact replica in terms of behaviour or physical appearance. This is due to a small percentage of mitochondrial DNA remaining from the egg donor, alongside the influence of environmental factors during development.

Despite these limitations, pet cloning has attracted the attention of celebrities like singer Barbra Streisand and Argentinian President Javier Milei, highlighting the emotional appeal of this technology.