Zhuang Zhuang, the country’s first equine clone, was presented this Thursday in Beijing by the Sinogene laboratory.
A cloned horse, the first of its kind born and approved in China and which should open up new perspectives in equestrian sports sector in the country, was presented this Thursday, January 12 in Beijing.
The cloning of competition or high-line horses has already been practiced in several countries since the early 2000s, particularly for genetic improvement. Born last June from a surrogate mother, “Zhuang Zhuang(pronounced “Djouang Djouang“), developed by the Beijing laboratory Sinogene, is the clone of an equine imported from Germany. The world’s first cloned horse was born in Italy in 2003.
Shortage of high-performance horses
Black in color, it is the first horse “hot-bloodedto be born in China and to have been officially approved by the Chinese Equestrian Industry Association. “Hot bloodis a classification that generally applies to breeds of light horses with lively temperaments.
Equestrian sports, especially show jumping, have been developing in China in recent years. But the shortage of high-performance horses and the lag in breed improvement technology are limiting this growth. “I spoke with (Chinese) riders who take part in the Olympic Games. All have more than one horse, usually two or three. Each horse costs from a few million to 10 million yuan“, or up to more than around one million euros, Mi Jidong, CEO of Sinogene, told AFP.
Competitive horses at a lower cost
“Cloning can help reduce the price of breeding and raising horses“. Producing competitive horses in China by cloning should make it less dependent on costly imports of equines and thus more easily supply the needs of the Chinese equestrian sports sector.
Chinese animal cloning companies have made significant progress in recent years, with technologies now mature for sheep, cows, pigs, dogs and even cats.
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