British couple fly to Seoul for birth of cloned puppies
Published 24/12/2015 | 01:31
A British couple have travelled to South Korea to wait for the birth of two puppies cloned from their dead, much -loved dog.
Yorkshire pair Laura Jacques and Richard Remde are reported to have paid £67,000 to clone their boxer, Dylan, who died earlier this year.
Ms Jaques told The Guardian: "I had had Dylan since he was a puppy. I mothered him so much, he was my baby, my child, my entire world."
The couple are the first UK paying customers of the South Korean Sooam Biotech Research Foundation, which has already produced one cloned British dog for free following a competition.
The controversial laboratory has created more than 700 dogs but pet cloning has been criticised by a range of organisations, including Genewatch and the RSPCA.
The process involves extracting DNA from a recently dead animal and implanting this into an egg which has had the nucleus removed. This is then implanted into a surrogate mother.
Sooam's website says live cells can be taken from dogs up to five days after they have died.
It also give advice on how to store your dead pet in your fridge as you prepare for the process.
The cloned animals will have the same DNA as the original dog and share many traits.
According to the paper, Ms Jacques and Mr Remde obtained the DNA samples themselves after Dylan died following a brain tumour.
Mr Remde went to South Korea twice for the process.
Now the surrogate pregnancies have been confirmed, the pair have flown back to South Korea for the births. They said the first puppy is due on Boxing Day and the other a day later.
Mr Remde said: "It will be like five Christmases coming all at once."