- The owner of the Chinese movie star dog Juice cloned it.
- Juice commands up to six figures for its movie roles, but owner He Jun cloned it for around $US55,000 at the Chinese biotech firm Sinogene.
- He wants to keep the dog’s image going with Little Juice.
Juice, a celebrity dog who’s commanded six figures for starring in Chinese movies, may live on for another generation now that its owner has cloned it.
He Jun, the dog’s owner and trainer, said Juice isn’t able to reproduce since the nine-year-old was picked up as a stray and neutered. He wants to keep its image going with a genetic clone, whose name is Little Juice.
“Juice himself is a piece of intellectual property with social influence,” He told Reuters.
To clone Juice (known in Mandarin as “Guozhi”), He hired Sinogene, a biotech firm that’s offered pet cloning services since 2017. For fees starting at around $US55,000, owners can clone their pets.
“We believe he’ll be even better than the older Juice,” He said.
While China has laws regulating animal research, it has no laws that explicitly ban animal cloning, according to Reuters.
In Juice’s case, Sinogene collected genetic samples from its lower abdomen and then fertilised an egg with the DNA it gathered. Juice is a mixed breed, but the fertilised egg was carried by a beagle. Little Juice was born in September.
“We’ve discovered that more and more pet owners want their pets to accompany them for an even longer period of time,” Sinogene CEO Mi Jidong told Reuters.
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