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.

 Date  August 2021

Background information

Since 2005 the cloning of a range of animal species, including cats and dogs has been reported. In the United States and South Korea, 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 with the success rate for cloning limited; a recent publication reported a total of four live births from 94 embryos implanted into four female dogs (4.3%) (Kim et al., 2017).

The negative welfare implications of cloning for both cloned animals and surrogate mothers are an ongoing concern. In addition, the value of cloning in terms of resulting benefits for the wider canine population is questionable. Evidence is also currently lacking regarding the long-term health of cloned animals.

Other statements

Laboratory Animals in research

Further Information Ethical Aspects of Cloning Dogs as Companion Animals
Aging of Cloned Animals 

 

Provenance

Reviewed by members of BSAVA Scientific Committee (Sarah Caddy, Alexander German, Jeremy Kirk, Caroline Kisielewicz, Lisa Morrow, Ian Self, Melissa Upjohn, James Warland) 2021

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