The programme, 'The £60,000 Puppy: Cloning Man's Best Friend' on
Channel 4, highlights the issue of canine cloning, an issue which
is of particular concern to the Kennel Club.
The Kennel Club is strongly against the principle of cloning as
it jeopardises dog welfare and runs contrary to the Kennel Club's
objective to promote in every way the general improvement of
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: "People may turn to
cloning when faced with the loss of a beloved pet and the need to
replicate the emotional bond they have with their dog but
unfortunately this comes at a price and the price is the welfare
implications involved in cloning."
At the present time cloning involves invasive procedures, which
include surgically implanting the embryo into the bitch used to
carry the clone. Because of the poor success rates this
procedure may be repeated multiple times, in many different
bitches, in order to produce a successful outcome. Furthermore, the
dog carrying the embryos will have to suffer the effects of
unsuccessful pregnancies such as losing embryos and newborns.
Caroline continues: "It is important to remember that cloning
can only replicate genetic material and cloned animals will most
likely develop different personalities and be a very different dog
to the dog that is cloned. In addition to this, there is a high
probability of abnormality in the puppy if things go wrong.
"We are genuinely shocked at the concept of the competition and
the trivialisation of this issue, as we believe most caring dog
owners will be. The idea that the emotional bond with a dog
that has passed away is being put above the welfare of the dog or
dogs involved in producing the cloned pet is appalling. The
ethics involved in this are undoubtedly questionable and we would
urge people to take a stand against the practice."
The Kennel Club is committed to supporting responsible dog
breeding using traditional breeding practices and new initiatives
such as Mate Select so that improvements can be made to ensure
better health for future generations of dogs.