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Britains first ever cloned dog breakthrough

Posted by: Tim Berrisford  Date: 09/04/2014   Category: Blog

A Channel 4 documentary will air tonight called The £60,000 Puppy: Cloning Man’s Best Friend at 10pm and will show how Britain is set to have their first ever cloned dog.
Rebecca Smith has had the puppy called ‘Mini Winnie’ created within a test tube using the DNA from her pet dog Winnie who is 12 years old in hope she can relive the good times with Mini Winnie and vows she will love them both equally.

Rebecca entered a competition after reading in a magazine that you could win the prize to have your dog cloned, she sent videos and images of her Dachshund Winnie and she won.
“My sausage dog is very special but she is 12 and not going to be around forever. My boyfriend always joked, ‘We need to get her cloned,’” she said, according to the Mirror newspaper.
The cloning procedure took place in South Korea by a company called Sooam Biotech who hopes from this they will have other Britain’s wanting to pay the £60,000 for their dog to be cloned also just like Rebecca wanted to. “We Brits do have a close attachment to our dogs, so it is exciting,” Ms Smith added.

However not everyone is as optimistic about the results, Sir Ian Wilmut who was head of the team that cloned Dolly the sheep warns people that the results may not be as life like as people think they may. He explained, “Owners will be disappointed. So much of the personality of a dog comes from the way you treat them. If you spend £60,000 on a cloned dog, you will treat it differently. I am sufficiently sceptical.”
The procedure involves taking skin tissue from Winnie, a spark of electricity and other scientific techniques and then using a surrogate mother, Mini Winnie was born.

“It looks exactly like Winnie. It’s identical. Personality-wise I couldn’t tell you because it doesn’t see and it doesn’t hear yet – it’s just a little sausage dog that wriggles around drinking milk,” Ms Smith said.
Unfortunately due to the UKs six month quarantine rule in place for dogs it means Mini Winnie will be six months old before he comes over however she plans to write to David Cameron and ask whether he would make an exception for this case.

The Channel 4 documentary The £60,000 Puppy: Cloning Man’s Best Friend airs tonight, feel free to tweet us @easyanimal your thoughts!