Monday, November 14, 2005

Cloned horses in Oklahoma!

Morality be damned, science is bringing the Brave New World to a horse farm near you.
PURCELL, Okla. (AP) _ While some of the mares jockey for position around the hay feeder filled with alfalfa, others check out the human visitors to their pasture, leaning forward to have their muzzle or ears scratched, searching handbags for an edible goodie.

The more than 30 healthy looking horses in this one pasture are all shapes and sizes and include an Appaloosa, a couple of bays, chestnuts, a paint and a Palomino.

None of the mares have a name, and their only identification is two plastic collars with numbers. The other thing these mares have in common is they each has been impregnated with a cloned embryo produced by ViaGen, an Austin, Texas, company that specializes in cloning horses, cattle and pigs. The mares are due to deliver in February.
The first cloned horse was born in 2003 in Italy. In 2005 Texas A&M University created the first cloned horse in the United States.

ViaGen is cloning performance type horses for $150,000, for customers who want to continue their horse's genetic makeup.

Currently these do not include thoroughbred racing horses.

The Jockey Club, which regulates the registration of thoroughbreds, will not allow any foal to be registered that is produced by the process of artificial insemination, embryo transfer or transplant, cloning or any other form of genetic manipulation.

The health of the breed is better served with natural breeding, said Bob Curran, Jr., Vice President of Corporate Communication for the Jockey Club.
Not to mention the joie de vivre of your average horse.

The arrogance is astonishing.


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