Attack of the clones….

…well everyone else was getting in on the Star Wars act this week so why not?  The legality of and ethical issues around horse cloning is likely to be one of the themes I want to explore in my post-doctoral research.

Halflinger clone

A Halflinger mare gave birth to the first cloned foal in 2003

When I began to explore these issues as a sub-theme in my (unfortunately still at draft stage) PhD thesis I had thought that this was one for the far distant future.  I included them because in the rarified atmosphere of doctoral study you are still allowed to ‘crystal ball gaze’ a little bit, not everything has to be applicable here and now.  However I was unaware that the pace in this area was moving quite fast and I was only barely ahead of the game.  I was recently asked to do a piece for a technology website re-launching in  January 2016:


Whilst cloned humans, never mind cloned human athletes may be some way off, equine sport is already there.  In November 2015 it was announced that a Chinese and South Korean biotech consortium plan to open the world’s largest cloning ‘factory’ costing an estimated £20.6m in Tianjin, China.  As well as animals for food, the operation is expected to ‘mass produce’ animals like police sniffer dogs and also racehorses.  This is the latest step in developments that have been taking place for over a decade…..(read the whole article at


About Dr Jonathan Glen Merritt

Senior Lecturer in Sports Law and Criminal Justice, and a member of the Sports Law Unit at Leicester De Montfort University School of Law, UK. PhD in Equine sports law governance, especially disciplinary structures. Also competing as an owner and rider with British Dressage. Obviously all views expressed are author's alone except where a guest author has contributed.
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2 Responses to Attack of the clones….

  1. Pingback: ‘Horses for Courses’, The British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre giving ex-racers a second career. | Equine Law and Policy Review

  2. Pingback: ‘Rogue one’…well I’ve been called worse… | Equine Law and Policy Review

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