A laboratory in China is accepting thousands in exchange to clone dead animals so heartbroken owners can make their pets live for decades. Beijing-based Sinogene revealed last week it had cloned the country’s first kitten, called Garlic, which was born on July 21.
Garlic’s heartbroken owner Huang Yu, 24, paid for the procedure after struggling to come to terms with the death of his original pet. Sinogene charges CN¥250,000 (£28,600) to clone a cat and CN¥380,000 (£43,500) to re-create a dog. The company’s chief executive, Mi Jidong, had previously explained dogs are more expensive to clone because the window for harvesting their eggs is very small.
Now a young woman is set to follow suit after being left devastated by the death of her border collie, which she bought while studying in the UK.
Hui Hui, 24, from Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province in East China, has borrowed £28,000 of her parents’ money to clone her beloved Xiaodi. The young woman turned to the pet cloning company after Xiaodi – bought in Scotland in the summer of 2013 – died of illness in April.
She spent around £230 for the funeral but is planning to spend the next four years paying her parents back for the cloning procedure, who were shocked by her suggestion. Hui Hui said: ‘I’m not very rich and am usually very frugal.
‘When my dog, Xiaodi, died, we didn’t have any sort of grand ceremony.’ Sinogene Vice-President Zhao Jianping said Xiaodi’s clone is expected to be born within the next month.
He said: ‘Our lab tests show that [the clone’s] surrogate mother is already pregnant. ‘But [the puppy] hasn’t been born yet. That’ll take another 20 days or so.’ Sinogene first made headlines in May 2017 when it revealed China’s first cloned dog, a beagle named Long Long. Since then, the company has cloned more than 40 animals.