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US Horse Registry Forced To Accept Cloned Horses 164

kdryer39 writes "U.S. District Court Judge Mary Lou Robinson said she will sign an order requiring the American Quarter Horse Association to begin allowing cloned animals to be placed on its registry, according to the organization. A jury last month ruled that the horse association violated anti-monopoly laws by banning cloned animals. The quarter horse association issues and maintains a pedigree registry of American quarter horses, a popular breed associated with cowboys riding on the range in the 19th and early 20th centuries."
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US Horse Registry Forced To Accept Cloned Horses

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  • Re:Ok, sure... (Score:5, Informative)

    by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @10:30PM (#44560897)

    I don't see it. Horse breeding is not Horse cloning. Bad idea. Very bad. I can't even fathom the idea that they can force them to take cloned animals.

    The point of getting them registered is to allow them to breed, and their offspring to be on the registry, and to race. You don't necessarily have to race the clones for registration to be worthwhile, and given the premature senescence of clones such as Dolly, they likely are not very good for racing in any case.

  • Re:Ok, sure... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Firethorn ( 177587 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @11:13PM (#44561149) Homepage Journal

    The copy will always suffer genome degradation over the span of many generations.

    Tell that to bacteria. Heck, your individual cells. No real limit. It occasionally goes wrong, but a bit of testing could easily keep that under control.

  • by Camael ( 1048726 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @12:00AM (#44561407)

    Salient facts from TFA :-

    Two Texas breeders, rancher Jason Abraham and veterinarian Gregg Veneklasen, sued the American Quarter Horse Association last year, asserting the group was operating a monopoly by excluding clones. No other horse breeding registry allows cloned animals.

    The quarter horse association issues and maintains a pedigree registry of American quarter horses... stated in court that it is a private organization and has the right to decide its membership rules.

    What is more compelling is the statement from AQHA [equinechronicle.com] after the verdict :-

    When individuals with shared interests, goals and values come together to form a voluntary association to serve a common purpose, the members have a right to determine the rules for their association. The wisdom of our membership – which is largely not in favor of the registration of clones and their offspring – has not been upheld by this verdict.

    Seriously, now. If you don't like the rules of a voluntary association, work from within to change the rules. Or talk to them, negotiate to get them to accept you. Or leave, and form your own association with the rules you like. Going to court to force others to put up with you is so wrong.

    And yes, I dont't see where is the monopoly. The plaintiffs can still whatever they want with their cloned horses, breed them, sell them, race them etc. They just can't be registered with the AQHA.

  • by jklovanc ( 1603149 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @02:33AM (#44562073)

    a better question is, why do so many gays (and others) want so very badly to be in a place where they are so clearly not wanted and appreciated?

    It could be due to the fact that they were Scouts when they were younger and want to carry on the tradition. In many areas the Boy Scouts are the only organization that offers outdoor activities. Many gay fathers would like to be a Scout Master in the troops of their children.

    we would not allow a straight man to sleep in a tent in close proximity to young girls who are not his offspring because he might be a sick fuck

    At coed camps adults of the opposite gender sleep near children all the time. There are female Scout Masters [nytimes.com] who are allowed to sleep in a tent in close proximity to boys; why not gay men? You are also incorrect as the Girl scouts allow male volunteers [girlscouts.org].

    Q: Who can volunteer?

    A: Membership is open to women and men 18 and over who accept the Girl Scout Promise and Law.

  • So, as I understand it, a cloned horse is where you take the DNA from a horse and put it into a donor egg to fertilize it with a complete chromosomal genome. Right, so, as we all know, the cell has other genetic material (mitochondrial DNA, for example). So, it's a fact that the initial cloned animal cell does not have ALL the same DNA that the initial fertilized egg had. If only the clone's chromosomal DNA is the same as the donor, then the cloned animal fertilized with nuclear DNA is not completely identical to the parent, and the clone WILL NOT produce the exact same genetic lineage that the host did -- Unless in the case of a female cloned via its own eggs? Registering studs means they of course do not produce their own eggs for cloning...

    Mitochondria are key to the ATP energy cycle of cells; Thus the cloned animal and its offspring may not perform the same athletically as the parent.

    In other words: It means that the Cloned Horses should be marked as such in the registry, and the Mother cell donor should be listed -- It's a whole other connectivity graph whereby instead of mixing the nucleic genomes, we are preserving the nucleic genome of the father and mixing it with the non-nucleic genome provided by the egg donor...

    And you thought re-engineering a database to allow more sexes than just M or F was a pain? Yeah, I can see why the other registries would put off accepting clones.

    Note: I work with artificial cybernetic genomes. I'm not a geneticist, but I felt this needed to be stated since I didn't see such posted above.
    Today's cloning is not like calling Object.clone(); It's more like overriding most of the inherited object's methods having to do with appearance and structure, etc. but not all of them. Oh fine, it's like copying a complete car, but modifying the fuel injectors... Normal folks won't care but if you're racing them it might make a big difference.

    Please do correct me if I'm wrong.

  • by Ash Vince ( 602485 ) * on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @07:49AM (#44563173) Journal

    We learned from that, and have become much better at keeping stock of which bulls are the fathers and grandfathers of which cattle. I don't see how cloning affects the situation significantly.

    Ok, first up when you fertilise an egg you have no real control over what bits of genetic material comes from which parent in many cases. Sometimes it is predetermined by dominant / recessive genes but for other stuff there is a huge element of chance in there. Cloning completely removes this from the equation which is actually the whole point.

    Secondly, if you start allowing clones you really need to keep a sample of genetic material from the donor as well to ensure it was not altered as part of the cloning process. Like maybe you want a horse to run faster and can find someway to tweak it's genetic makeup to make this possible.

    Don't get me wrong, I am not personally against cloning, genetic modification or any other amazing new technology like this. I do think you have to be a little careful though at how it is applied when money is involved and horse racing is certainly in that category. It seems that if a bunch of a majority of trainers do not want to pit their animals that have been bred in a similar way for hundred of years against a horse that is grown in a lab that should be their prerogative just like most athletes don't want to compete against someone drugged up to eyeballs.

  • by LDAPMAN ( 930041 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @09:01AM (#44563639)

    You wouldn't clone a common Quarter Horse. You would clone an exceptionally valuable Quarter Horse. Some of them are worth millions of dollars.

"Yeah, but you're taking the universe out of context."