The client is a woman from the United States in the state of California. The order given to the South Korean company, RNL, is to recreate or clone “Booger,” her deceased pitbull terrier. The asking price from RNL Bio is $150,000.
The company is going to use tissue extracted from Booger’s ear before he died. RNL Bio plans to use a team from Seoul National University. At that university, the first dog was cloned in 2005. While that was for scientific purposes, RNL Bio says that this will be the first time for commercial uses.
The dog’s owner gave the tissue sample to the company. The owner, Bernann McKunney said she was attached to Booger when he saved her life when she was attacked by another dog. The other dog bit off McKunney’s arm.
“There are many people who want to clone their pet dogs in Western countries even at this high price,” said Ra Jeong-chan in an interview with the Korea Times. He is the chief executive of RNL Bio.
The company is expecting hundreds of orders in the near future. Also, the company plans to clone dogs for law enforcement to sniff out both bombs and drugs.
Cho Seong-ryul, the marketing director explained that puppies are produced from 1 out of every 4 surrogates. In regards to surrogates, this was the same method in the creation of Dolly the sheep.
This type of method which was discovered when creating Dolly the sheep has been used as the new method of cloning in regards to a few movies and TV shows. There was one episode of "The Pretender" where Jerod had discovered that The Centre had used his DNA and made a clone of him.
In that episode, it was discovered that The Centre used cloning for commercial purposes.
The theme was somewhat used in Michael Crichton’s book called "Next" which was published on November 28, 2006.
“The cost of cloning a dog may come down to less than $50,000 as cloning is becoming an industry,” Cho explained.
This raises many questions in regards to ethics. What Cho explains should raise much alarm and concern in the near future.
On a side note, they always say you cannot put a price on love. The case of Bernann MucKunney, there is definitely no price on love.
Also, can someone say “6th Day?” Anybody that has seen the movie should get the idea. Those that have not watched the movie, there was one company called "RePet" where pets were cloned.
The movie had raised views on the ethics of cloning for commercial purposes. 6th Day parallels what RNL Bio is doing. But the biggest difference was that in 6th Day, pets were cloned at certain ages instead of pets being cloned by means of surrogates.
One can possibly count on the political and religious communities putting their two cents in the near future. One can possibly count on animal rights advocacy groups getting into the mix in the near future as well.
Animal rights activists could give many arguments against cloning for commercial purposes.
One argument would that could be used of why have a pet cloned while there are many in shelters that are looking for new homes and new families.
Another argument is that for the price of $150,000, it could keep animal shelters functioning. The groups can also give the argument that it can save a lot of animals from being put to sleep.
Human rights activists could give the argument that for $150,000, many in impoverished nations could get much needed food and medical attention.
Cloning for commercial purposes does raise numerous questions, fears, and concerns.
Commercial wise, one can possibly count on other companies following RNL Bio’s lead. But, RNL Bio could be considered the first real life RePet.
Nevertheless, this could be prelude to a lot of controversy in the future.