China building world’s largest animal cloning factory

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Who: World’s largest animal cloning factory
What: To be built in China
When: Announced in November 2015

Chinese scientists in third week of November 2015 unveiled their plan to develop the world’s largest animal cloning factory. It will be created to save critically endangered species from extinction.

Focus of the company
• It will mainly focus at cloning cattle, which would help China to keep up with Chinese demand of the meat.
• It hopes to produce around one lakh cow embryos annually, which would be five percent of the Chinese market for beef.
• Scientists at the plant also hope to clone champion race horse (hugely successful for polo ponies in South America) and sniffer dogs (capable of finding illegal drugs or people during natural disasters).

As per Xu Xiaochun, the chief executive of BoyaLife, the company would begin operations in the first half of 2016 in Tianjin, a city about 160km (100 miles) from Beijing.

BoyaLife is the company that is behind the 200 million Yuan (20.6 million pound) project. It has partnered with South Korea’s Sooam Biotech and is creating 14000 square-meter facilities in Tianjin.

Sooam Biotech is a company owned by Seoul based scientist Hwang Woo-suk, whose team was the first in the world to clone a dog, an Afghan hound named Snuppy, born in 2005.

Cloning of animals for food is not new. It is permitted in the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK). Though considered safe, but it still requires permission from regulatory authorities.