Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the harm in cloning a companion animal?
While there may be no direct harm to the original animal, many other animals are exploited as ‘production units.’
In the cloning laboratory, female cats are injected with hormones to synchronize their reproductive states and they undergo multiple surgeries to implant cloned embryos and extract fetuses. The odds are against the kittens’ survival. Feline cloning techniques are so new that no one yet knows the long-term consequences.
Up to 45% of cloned cats born in one pet cloning laboratory will die within one month, confessed the company's CEO.
In dog cloning experiments, hundreds of dogs are housed in the laboratory because their reproductive periods are less frequent. People can avoid these risks by adopting a homeless animal.
Who will be the surrogates for the cloned animals?
Pet cloning companies buy animals from the same animal dealers that other animal research and testing labs use. These dealers breed animals specifically to sell them for experimentation. Laboratores also often purchase animals directly from animal shelters and pounds.
Are cloned animals exact replicas?
Cloned animals are genetically identical to the original animals, but not physically or behaviorally. Certain breeds of animals have uniform hair coat patterns that make them appear to be identical (Bengal cats for instance), and therefore, even unrelated animals will look alike. A search of www.PetFinder.org
will likely turn up a ‘clone’ of most any companion animal, and an animal in need of a good home.
See also: Adopt a 'Clone'
Because behavior is based on experiences and the environment in which one is raised, there is no guarantee that a cloned animal will have the same personality as the original animal.
See also: Consumer Fraud
Have other animals been cloned? Why?
Cats, cattle, goats, horses, mice, mules, pigs, rabbits, rats, sheep, Siberian ibex, and white-tailed deer have all been cloned. Researchers are still trying to clone monkeys, chickens, and other animals.
There are three major areas in which scientists are seeking to clone animals: 1) agriculture; 2) biomedical research; and 3) propagation of endangered species. All of these areas have potential commercial opportunities, despite the inefficiency of cloning. For example, cloning horses for racing and cats and dogs as companions is another facet of the commercial exploitation of these animals.
What does this mean for all the unwanted animals in shelters?
Even though the budding pet cloning industry has yet to reach the mainstream, cloned animals could potentially compete with the adoption of animals from shelters, as do pet stores and animal breeders. In fact, pet cloning undermines efforts to tackle the cat and dog overpopulation problem.
The CEO of one pet cloning company boasts that his business will make billions of dollars selling thousands of animals, indicating that this industry could significantly exacerbate the current companion animal overpopulation problem. Cloned animals who are sold are not spayed or neutered. In addition, pet cloning labs have so far had to place hundreds of cats and dogs from their laboratories into adopting homes, thereby displacing otherwise available homes.
Will pet cloning help save endangered or extinct animals?
There are reasons why animals have become endangered or extinct, such as habitat loss and fragmentation, hunting, and other factors, and in most cases, the situtaions have become much worse. Animals used in experiments to clone endangered or extinct animals suffer in the same ways that other cloend animals do. Instead of creating zoos full of cloned animals who will never return to the 'wild,' we should focus on protecting the precious animals and land that remain and restoring habitat that has been destroyed or otherwise altered.