Updated: Apr 21, 2020
Chinese officials cloned a top-performing police dog, state media announced, with the goal of stamping out genetically identical dog cops. The pup, named Kunxun, is a clone of the “Sherlock Holmes of police dogs,” according to Reuters.
She’s just started police dog training, to see whether the original dog’s aptitude for drug detection and crowd control have carried over.
Kunxun was born in December in an experiment carried out by Sinogene Biotechnology and Yunnan Agricultural University and supported by the government.
It’s a genetic copy of a 7-year-old dog named Huahuangma that won accolades as a “first-class meritorious dog” for investigating homicide cases, per Chinese state-run paper Global Times. Tests show Kunxun’s DNA as 99.9% identical to Huahuangma’s.
To the Chinese government, the project comes down to money.
Training a regular police dog in China costs the equivalent of $60,000, according to the Global Times, and takes up to five years. If the experiment’s a success, the goal is “mass production” of cloned police dogs.
READ MORE: China clones ‘Sherlock Holmes’ police dog to cut training times – state media [Reuters]
More on cloned dogs: Wanna Clone Your Dog Like Barbra Streisand? Here Are Four Things You Need to Know.