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Ovoclone's laboratory facilities where the cloning of the pets is carried out in Marbella. Josele
Would you clone your pet? Laboratory in Marbella makes it possible with prices starting from 55,000 euros
Animal welfare

Would you clone your pet? Laboratory in Marbella makes it possible with prices starting from 55,000 euros

Ovoclone is the first company in the country to offer the service that is fully legal in Spain

María Albarral

Marbella

Monday, 8 July 2024, 14:45

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Anyone in Spain who would like to clone their pet can now do so, but it'll cost at least 55,000 euros.

The practice is now legal and the Ovoclone laboratory in Marbella is the first to offer the service. Company CEO and embryologist Enrique Criado said "there are still ethical and moral barriers among the population on this issue" but he is confident that "the drop in prices that this process will experience over the years as well as its growth in popularity will lead to it becoming normalised in society".

The development of cloning techniques and the increase in the number of users and clinics that carry out the practice in Spain will bring acceptance, he added. "The first children born 'in vitro' were a scandal at the time, and yet today it is common practice. The same will happen with this issue. Tomorrow it will be completely commonplace," the embryologist said.

Any mammal

From dogs and cats to horses and camels, this laboratory can clone any mammal. Owners of horses that participate in competitions are one of the most frequent customers, with requests already coming in from the Arab Emirates and the same is happening with camel owners.

Another of the laboratory's objectives is to be able to put scientific advances in this field at the service of the public administration. "With both assisted reproduction and cloning we can help animals that are in danger of extinction," Criado said. The lab is "in talks with several institutions", he added and pointed out the example of "the importance of saving the Iberian lynx".

User profile

"The vast majority of people who come to have their pets cloned are people who have a strong bond with their pets and often treat them as if they were their own children," the embryologist said.

"Those who clone know perfectly well that they are other animals, that they have 99.9% of the same genetics as the original, but that it is another one that, of course, has no memories but, nevertheless, having the same genetic code as the original."

In the eight months this practice has been operating in Marbella, there have already been all kinds of situations. From a client who sent his private plane to pick up the embryologist so he could take samples from a dog that had just died, to an intervention in Naples to clone eight dogs.

Most are not purebred

Regarding the approach to the process, most of them see the clone as a 'child' of the animal they have lost, not as a replacement. One thing that stands out is that most of the cloned dogs are not purebred.

It is not always possible to carry out the process either. "Some people who have called us to clone their pets have brought us frozen biological material, which is no good for us, and many have asked for samples to be extracted but the animals had already died and were buried," Criado said, who pointed out that "for the technique to work, the pet must be alive or only a few hours after its death". The preservation of cell lines is a separate process that saves genetic material for both disease and cloning.

The rich and famous clone their pets

Barbara Streisand, Javier Milei and Diane von Fürstenberg are among the celebrities who have resorted to this technique with their pets. The Argentinian president has four clones of his mastiff dog Conan, which has been widely criticised in the country.

The first animal cloned in the world was the famous Dolly the sheep in 1997. Since then, the procedures have been refined and it is now a reality that is legal in many countries.

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