Having recently arrived from South Korea, where he was conceived in a laboratory, Anthony has already caused quite a stir in Latin America as the first product of a controversial and nascent scientific venture: the cloning of pets.
The original Anthony was in fact born 16 years ago, but for the owning family, after their pet became ill last year, they decided it was a “close bond they were not going to lose”.
Just like the original – although “more like a twin brother than a clone” – he is a mix of greyhound and street-dog, weighing in at around 16 kilos. Daniel Jacoby, director of a company that represents the Korean Laboratory in South America adds that this is “the second chance for the family to enjoy and love their pet,” as he believes that “if raised in the same conditions as the original, the current Anthony will be very similar [in temperament].”
Cloning is not news to Argentina; with cows, horses, pigs, tigers, cheetahs and cats having undergone the procedure – however, this is the first instance of a dog being cloned, thanks to an agreement made between biologists and veterinarians of the Laboratory of Animal Technology of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the UBA.
Daniel Salamone – director of the laboratory – holds no objection to this kind of private initiative, and clearly neither do scientists in places like the United States, Canada, Japan, India, England, Russia, Arabia and Mexico; where there are the highest numbers of cloned pets.
Before you jump at the idea of cloning the pet you’re not ready to let go of though, cloning is certainly going to set you back quite a bit — with the average cost coming in between US $70,000 and US $100,000.
That being said, Salamone notably rounded off the subject by saying: “However, we must reflect on the fear of loss and whether the mourning the death of a beloved pet during childhood might actually prepare us for facing those that future life might hold.”