What PETA Has to Say About Cloning Your Pet

Barbra Streisand’s recent cloning announcement has sparked a debate

By Catalina Barrios

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Are you pro or anti-cloning?


It’s hard to believe that a sheep could cause so much controversy. Do you remember “Dolly”?  Although she has already been dead for over 15 years, Dolly remains an international sensation.  She was the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell, taken from the udder of her mother, in 1996. This was a very big deal because somatic cells are specialized into whatever body function they are going to perform. Scientists were able to reverse that process (after 276 failed attempts!) to create a whole new sheep, instead of just another udder.

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Credit: LiveScience

Dolly died young from lung disease, which ignited a whole new debate about the ethics of cloning. It seemed that Dolly had a shortened life because the udder cell of her creation had already collected genetic damage because it was old.  More mammals have been cloned since Dolly the sheep: cat, deer, dog, horse, mule, ox, rabbit and rat. In addition, a rhesus monkey has been cloned by embryo splitting (which is different than using somatic cells).

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Credit: Instagram / @barbrastreisand


Actress and singer, Barbra Streisand, was recently in the news after announcing she cloned her 14-year old dog, Samantha. Streisand revealed that two of her three dogs, Miss Violet and Miss Scarlet, were clones from the Coton de Tulear, that died in 2007. Somatic cells were take from Samantha’s mouth and stomach. Controversy arose after Streisand’s decision, and PETA (People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals) was one of the first out of the gate with their scorn.

“We all want our beloved dogs to live forever, but while it may sound like a good idea, cloning doesn’t achieve that — instead, it creates a new and different dog who has only the physical characteristics of the original,” said Ingrid Newkirk, PETA’s founder.

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Credit: npr

The animal advocacy group said animal personalities cannot be replicated and suggest people consider adopting an animal instead of cloning. Cloning, which according to Fortune Magazine can cost up to $100,000 USD, is a more common practice among the wealthy.  In 2016, media billionaire Barry Diller and fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, cloned their Jack Russell terrier, Shannon, creating two new dogs.

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Credit: Instagram / @barbrastreisand

As for Miss Violet and Miss Scarlet, 75-year old Streisand is thrilled to have new Coton de Tulear, and has bonded with them in a different way than with Samantha.

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Credit: Instagram / @barbrastreisand

“Animals’ personalities, quirks, and very ‘essence’ simply cannot be replicated, and when you consider that millions of wonderful adoptable dogs are languishing in animal shelters every year, or dying in terrifying ways when abandoned, you realize that cloning adds to the homeless-animal population crisis”, said Newkirk (president of PETA) in a statement released to Page Six.

Additionally, according to PETA, cloning has a high failure rate, thus many lives are lost for every successful birth.

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National Geographic reports that pet cloning is mostly unregulated in the United States. In 2005, California attempted to pass a bill stopping the pet cloning practice. Officials feared health concerns would arise due to cloning (as did with the early demise of Dolly), and that pet owners may prefer cloning their pet instead of going to an animal shelter. As for the bill? It was voted down.

If you had $100,000 to spare, would you clone your pet? Share your opinion with us.