Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cloned horse has healthy foal

The world's first cloned horse, Prometea, has had a foal. Her son, Pegaso, is the first offspring of an equine clone and it proves once again that cloned animals can grow and reproduce normally, and give birth to healthy offspring.

Prometea was announced as the world’s first horse clone in 2003. This cloning process is seen by many as a way to preserve the genetic heritage of exceptional geldings.

"During these five years Prometea has been in very good health and often at the centre of media attention," says her creator, Prof Cesare Galli of the Laboratory of Reproductive Technologies in Cremona.

"The ultimate proof of her normality has just come with the birth of Pegaso, on March 17th 2008, after a single insemination with the semen of the Haflinger stallion Abendfurst."

Pegaso will be of particular interest to the racing industry, as sporting horses are castrated at an early age. "When they become adult and demonstrate to be champion horses, they are unable to reproduce and it is therefore impossible to obtain the next generation: the champion’s offspring," says Prof Galli.

"This is a bitter reality that clashes with the driving principle of animal breeding and selection that is based on the reproduction of superior individuals to pursue genetic improvement of the breed. Therefore, today, horse cloning is simply an assisted reproduction technique that allows us to obtain copies/clones of castrated champion horses and finally, from these clones, the champion's offspring that otherwise would never be born."
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1 comment:

Daisy said...

Well written article.