Dolly, the first cloned sheep, started it all. It began a massive debate on the ethics of cloning. The debate of animal cloning did not stop purely with Dolly the sheep. It continued on to reach into our homes and the pets that we see as our constant companions. In 2004 the first commercial pet cloners made their way out onto the market. The first commercial pet-cloning was Genetics Saving & Cloning. The company later closed its door due to a failure of technology to allow them to clone dogs as well as cats. From that point on the market has boomed as people seek to clone their pets, hoping to recreate their best friends and keep them around indefinitely.
This service has been constantly plagued with controversy. The main point of discontent that many people feel is that the organizations which offer this service misrepresent it; that they act as though the cloned pet will be the same as the original. While their appearance may be identical, the pet’s personality will most certainly vary. Those opposed to pet cloning also make the argument that the vast majority of cloned animals suffer health issues later on in life. There are those who argue that all the money that is being spent towards cloning research for pets should instead be focused on providing vaccines and basic care for those pets who are not fortunate enough to have homes.
Those who are for pet cloning argue that what should matter is that it makes the owners of these animals happy to have cloned replacements of animals who they have lost. There are some that claim that it is just the natural progression of the market and there is no point in fighting it because if people want it badly enough they will get it. And still some claim that cloning is a tool that can teach veterinarians the anatomy and function of animals’ organs.
No matter where one falls in this debate one thing is certain: this is an issue of ethics that needs to be addressed. With cloning becoming more and more sophisticated, it is only a matter of time before cloning becomes an everyday option. As cloning progresses it will not be too long before we will forced to consider the issue in regards to ourselves. Do we wish to be cloned? Before that occurs, it is certain that whatever decision is made will certainly have a long-reaching effect.