Cloning of companion animals

Statement

The British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) does not support the cloning of companion animal species for commercial purposes and recognises that the procedure as it applies to research is covered, in the UK, by the Animal (Scientific Procedures) Act, 1986.

The BSAVA does not support the process of commercial collection and storage of genetic material from companion animals for the express purpose of cloning a specific pet animal.

Background information

In recent years the cloning of a range of animal species, including cats and dogs has been reported. In the United States, commercial companies have been established with the purpose of storing genetic material from pet cats and dogs with a view to the future cloning of these animals. Cloning is also called 'nuclear transfer' and 'somatic cell nuclear transfer'.

It is accepted that there are potential risks to the production of cloned animals, both to the animals involved in producing the clone and the clones thus created. The success rate for cloning is limited; the two recently cloned dogs were the only live births from a total of 1095 embryos implanted into 123 surrogate dams. The negative welfare implications of cloning are discussed in the Draft Interim Report of the Companion Animal Welfare Council (CAWC) Report on Breeding and Welfare in Companion Animals.

It has been suggested that the recent production of cloned dogs has limited value with respect to research in canine disease, which is best studied in the natural dog population.

Other statements

Animals in research

Provenance

Approved: BSAVA Council 2005
Updated: June 2012

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