Britain is set to get its first cloned dog after dog owner Rebecca Smith won a competition and had her pet cloned on a Channel 4 documentary.
“Mini Winnie” was cloned in a test tube at a cost of £60,000 using DNA from Ms Smith’s 12-year-old dachshund.
According to the Mirror, Ms Smith said: “My sausage dog is very special but she is 12 and not going to be around forever. My boyfriend always joked, ‘We need to get her cloned.'”
The procedure was carried out by Sooam Biotech in South Korea, who hope thousands of other Britons will pay the large price tag in order to have their dog reproduced. However, a number of critics have condemned the process, suggesting that owners won’t get the results they’re expecting.
According to Sir Ian Wilmut, who led the team that cloned the first mammal, Dolly the sheep, in 1996, owners will be disappointed. He said: “So much of the personality of a dog comes from the way you treat them. If you spend £60,000 on a cloned dog, you will treat it differently. I am sufficiently sceptical.”
Animal rights group Peta also disagree with the idea of pet cloning. A spokesperson said: “We cannot resurrect animals, but we can give living animals in desperate need a chance at a happy life. Every year, millions of homeless animals are euthanized.”
The Channel 4 documentary Channel 4 documentary called The £60,000 Puppy: Cloning Man’s Best Friend can be found online on 4OD.