February 15, 2008

South Korean Firm Receives First Order for Cloned Dog

Booger, a dead Pit Bull owned by Bernann McKunney, may be brought back to life, or at least, "re-birthed." McKunney, who is from California, has put in an order with RNL Bio in South Korea to have her dog cloned.

This is the company's first "commercial order", and it is costing McKunney $150,000. She was incredibly attached to Booger, due to the fact that he saved her life following an attack where another dog bit her arm off.

Prior to Booger's death a year and a half ago, McKunney gave RNL Bio preserved ear tissue from her dog. The cloning work will be completed by a team from Seoul National University.

The leader of the team, Professor Le Byeong-chun, was on the team which cloned the first dog two years ago. That particular dog was an Afghan Hound named Snuppy, and cloning has continued since, with more dogs as well as grey wolves.

According to RNL Bio's marketing director, Cho Seong-ryul, one fourth of all surrogate mother dogs produce puppies. Even at the high price of cloning, there are plenty of people who want their pets cloned. More pet orders are expected, and eventually, Seong-ryul says that the cost may come down to less than $50,000 "“ much more affordable "“ due to cloning becoming "an industry".

Not only are more pet orders expected, but the firm also expects orders for drug or bomb sniffing dogs as well.


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