Thursday, September 16, 2021
In today’s technology, there are new discoveries made daily, the horse industry is no exception. In 2003, the horse industry changed forever. The first successful cloning of a horse (a filly named Prometea) took place in the spring of 2003. Since then technology has only improved and there has been somewhere in the neighborhood of a couple hundred cloned horses produced. Cloning, in terms of the horse, is a complex process of producing individual organisms with identical DNA. This would mean producing a foal with the same DNA as a preceding horse. This is most common in the highest levels of competition. Cloning is no cheap expense. Although the price has gone down it still runs around $90,000. As the first article states cloning seems to have no real benefit except that breeders know what the horse can grow to be (height, weight, muscling, and possible medical immunity.) Clones show no direct relation to their competitive performance. They also grow and develop very similar to that of a naturally bred horse. It is easiest to think of a clone as an identical twin born at a different time. Clones require the same amount of work and training as those of naturally bred means and will not reach their previous full potential without it. Clones also may not have the same demeanor as the previous horse depending on the environment they grew up in. After reading this article about cloning in horses I don’t find cloning to be unethical. If there is not a clear-cut link to their previous competitive performance I do not see a problem in cloning. Although this is not a natural process and can be abused in many ways by irresponsible breeders, it can also advance our knowledge significantly of genetically inherited medical issues in the horse and possibly save others in the future. I am in agreeance with the idea of cloning in equines for medical purposes.