The UK’s first cloned puppy is revealed amidst controversy

Britain's first cloned dog has been born, after owner Rebecca Smith won a £60,000 contest.


by Ellie Hooper |
Published on

Rebecca, who owns a 12-year-old dachshund Winnie, has welcomed new puppy 'mini Winnie' last month.

'We Brits do have a close attachment to our dogs, so it is exciting. 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.''

Rebecca, 29, then read about a competition you could enter to get your pet cloned in Seoul, South Korea.

Cells from Winnie were implanted in an embryo and then a surrogate dog
Cells from Winnie were implanted in an embryo and then a surrogate dog

Cloning company Soaam Biotech hopes that many Brits will follow suit and come over to have their pets cloned - despite the hefty price of £60,000.

However Sir Ian Wilmut, who helped clone Dolly the sheep in 1996, said: 'Owners will be disappointed. 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.'

Winnie's skin tissue was taken and stored in liquid nitrogen for transportation to South Korea. Her cells were then put into eggs from a dog of the same breed, and a spark of electricity created a cloned embryo and then placed in a surrogate.

Rebecca said that the new pup looks exactly like Winnie, but it remains to be seen if their personalities will be similar.

Animal rights organisation PETA spoke out against cloning, saying:

'We cannot resurrect animals, but we can give living animals in desperate need a chance at a happy life.'

The organisation also referenced the fact that thousands of homeless pets are euthanised every year - simple because no one will adopt them.

Read the RSPCA statement on the matter here.

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