How long before the copyright trolls start circling?
We're officially living in the future, aren't we?
Cloned horses are people, my friend!
I already got that feeling once today when I saw an adsurdist, futurist headline that read:
Cloned Quarter Horses should have their own registry and/or change the name of their breed.
Royale with Cheese Horses?
Somewhere the value of someone's gelding just doubled.
I'm not an expert on horse breeding, but this might have some interesting ethical implications. On one side, a horse that has proven itself not likely to be injured could be mass produced, and less horses that have bad characteristics would be culled (taking a little of the randomness out of breeding and reducing surplus horses). On the other hand, superior horses that have often been retired early for mating purposes might instead be worked until they break since they can be re-cloned. From my point of view, it seems that whatever action that reduces horse slaughter and injuries the most is the more ethical course of action.
It could be even more complex than that - since, as I understand it, the mitochondrial DNA comes from the donor egg and not the animal being cloned, a market in the very best quality donor eggs should arise. That would be particularly true of racing horses since it would have such an impact on metabolism, oxygen carrying/processing efficiency, etc.
If the registry doesn't track the donor egg line in the same way they track the "parentage" then two clones that are presumed to be identical would have material differences from the start if they used donor eggs from different sources.
Just a thought.
Some quarter horse owners and breeders have complained that cloned animals have an unfair advantage because they are selected according to superior genetic characteristics.
So let me get this straight. One group of people - who select animals according to superior genetic characteristics - are complaining that a different group of people are selecting animals according to superior genetic characteristics?
Whether you achieve a desired type of animal by breeding or by cloning, you're still selecting animals according to genetic characteristics. You can't fault cloners for doing the exact same thing you do, except more efficiently.
Some horse people can get /really/ anal about the traditions of the registry system. It's almost a religion to them.
But, but.... Cloning is unnatural and scary, unlike good, old-fashioned, artificial selection, which is totally organic or something, um mumble mumble.
Isn't a clone of a Quarter Horse about as Quarter Horse as one can possibly be?
Cloned horses! How long 'til we can get lab-grown horse meat?
The snobs must fight a never-ending battle to keep the hoi polloi in their place.
an easy ruling, as its enshrined in the very fabric of natural law:
'a horse is a horse, of course, of course'
You don't need to be posh to breed horses or be involved in equine sport. It's actually a clique where people from myriad backgrounds mingle and enjoy each other's company. Like Craigslist orgies. I digress.
What WILL happen is that no-one will sell you a horse anymore, they'll just license you one and only if you agree to the EULA not to make unauthorised copies.
A cloned quarter horse is, genetically, nothing but a quarter horse. And it's the quarter horse association. I don't see grounds for objection.
If this matters to them, I suggest they rename the organization to the Quarter Horse Breeder's Association, since I think there's room to exclude cloning from the definition of breeding if they want to do so.
Personally, I find quarter horses gorgeous animals and favor keeping them around. Given the size of the genetic pool, I'm not sure whether cloning is a good thing or a bad thing in the long run. The right answer undoubtedly is that it depends on how it's used. Which may be the single best reason for bringing the clones into the group; "better to have them on the inside pissing out than on the outside pissing in."
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