Streisand has dead dog reproduced as cloning takes off

Streisand not alone in pet cloning as the practice gains popularity among the wealthy.

Streisand clones pet for memories

‘The way we were’ is just how songstress Barbara Streisand would like to keep things with her beloved pet dog … so she had the animal cloned when she died.

The revelation was made during a wide-ranging interview Streisand gave to Variety in which she spoke of creating two replicas of her deceased Coton de Tulear, named Samantha, using cells from the hapless pooch’s mouth and stomach.

Samantha had been Streisand’s constant companion for 14 years and now her likeness will never be forgotten because the clones are identical copies.

So identical, that the singer had to tie coloured ribbons to their collars when her two stars were born so she could tell them apart. The pups are called Miss Scarlet (red ribbon) and Miss Violet (purple ribbon). A third Streisand pet, Miss Fanny, is a distant cousin of Samantha’s.

While cloning a dead pet, no matter how cherished in life, may seem creepy to some people, the practice is actually gaining in popularity, especially among wealthy American and Asian animal lovers.

ViaGen Pets, which owns the patent for the technology used to clone the original Dolly the Sheep, charges US$1600 to store a pet’s genetic material. Clients who go on to order clones need to fork out $50,000 for a dog and $25,000 for a cat.

The company, a self-proclaimed global leader in cloning animals, says its “simple procedure produces extraordinary results”. Here is how it works:

  • the ViaGen technician replaces the nucleus of a donor egg with one of the founder’s frozen cells
  • ViaGen’s proprietary treatment process joins this egg and cell together to produce an embryo
  • a ViaGen embryologist then implants the embryo in a surrogate
  • an identical genetic twin is delivered after a normal gestation period.

Private South Korean laboratory Sooam Biotech, whose founder is credited with having cloned the first dog in 2005, produces about 500 cloned embryos every day. However, they are mostly of livestock breeds, such as dairy cows. It is also involved in experiments to clone endangered and extinct animals.

Additionally, one of its current projects produces animal models to help research cures for diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

On dog cloning, the company is very explicit, listing on its site the detailed procedures owners must follow to acquire a genetic sample from their pets.

Of its mission, it says: “Sooam not only performs dog cloning research, but we also heal the broken hearts.”

One thing cloning cannot reproduce, however, is a pet’s disposition. While the new pet appears like a carbon copy, as Streisand noted in her interview, “they have different personalities”.

Would you have your dead pet cloned? Is cloning pets ethical when there are so many abandoned animals in shelters?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    2nd Mar 2018
    I know that i wouldn't and not because of the cost neither. I would be getting another dog from a animal shelter who needs a new home.
    2nd Mar 2018
    Why would anyone clone a dead animal when there are so many unwanted strays that badly need care in a good home.
    2nd Mar 2018
    The news report I read earlier stated that cloning is not always successful, it has about the same success rate as IVF for humans.
    However, the bill still has to be paid :-)
    2nd Mar 2018
    Now if I could just replace my body with a younger healthier version of me for the duration of my remaining life.... but then I would have to go back to work ...mmm no, think I'll just stay on this path.
    2nd Mar 2018
    EAsy to see who lives in La La land and who doesn't
    2nd Mar 2018
    I wonder if I could clone myself then I could have children just like me. Umm let me think ........maybe not. :)
    2nd Mar 2018
    Silly, just because a celebrity does it.
    If other people do it, does that make them a celebrity..No
    Does the clone dog have the memory and personality of the previous dog..No
    Polly Esther
    2nd Mar 2018
    She really must be bored shi* less err perhaps rich less.
    Too much idle time and too much money. But, hey, each to their own I guess.

    2nd Mar 2018
    This is a pretty disturbing phenomenon (albeit understandable). Sure, the animal would be genetically identical, but it would not be the same pet, since its experiences would be different.
    4th Mar 2018
    They should donate to animal welfare and adopt a stray instead. What a money making racket.
    5th Mar 2018
    Poor (in spirit) Barbie, a classic case of another rich, sick bitch - pun intended - that in her relatively misanthropic myopia places greater value in a scientific twist to animal necromancy than any alternative living substitute. Maybe she's set for cryogenic interment so that all her 'PAL'(s) can restore her, donations permitting, once they realize there will never be another Barb. If only mankind could be so lucky. Woof!

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