Can man’s best friend be copied?

Last changed: 27 March 2018

Since the first successful attempt to clone a dog in 2005, dogs have been cloned for a variety of purposes, for example as companion animals. In a recent paper, researchers from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and University of Copenhagen discuss the ethical implications of cloning dogs.

The researchers argue that it is meaningless to clone a companion dog to preserve friendship. Since the shared history behind the relationship cannot be repeated or copied, it risks to lose its' uniqueness and also our notion of each friendship as irreplaceable. The researchers also argue that cloning of companion dogs can be seen as a violation of dogs' integrity; by negative welfare associated with the cloning process itself, as well as due to the instrumentalisation of the dog inherent in cloning.

Link to the publication


Heðinsdóttir, K., Kondrup, S., Röcklinsberg, H. et al. Can Friends be Copied? Ethical Aspects of Cloning Dogs as Companion Animals. J Agric Environ Ethics (2018) 31: 17.