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20 Mar, 2019 07:18

China clones ‘Sherlock Holmes of police dogs’ to cut time and cost of K9 training

China clones ‘Sherlock Holmes of police dogs’ to cut time and cost of K9 training

Beijing used the skin of a veteran police dog, credited with helping to solve many murders, to create its younger clone. Officials hope that the K9 cloning program will drive down cost and time required for dogs’ training.

A three-month-old pup named Kunxun, China’s first ever cloned police dog, arrived at a canine-training base in the nation’s southwestern Yunnan Province, local media reported. She is a Kunming wolfdog, a breed similar to a German shepherd. Kunming dogs are widely used in China by the military, police, border guards and firefighters.

Kunxun’s DNA is 99.9 percent identical to veteran police dog named Huahuangma, whose skin was used as genetic material for the clone, police officials stated. Huahuangma is said to have earned the name ‘Sherlock Holmes of police dogs’ after helping to crack “dozens” of murder cases. The embryo, created from her DNA, was later implanted into a beagle, which gave birth to Kunxun via cesarean section.

The Ministry of Public Security launched a program on cloning top-performing police dogs in hopes to save time and cut the cost of the training.

“By cloning veteran dogs, we can greatly improve the success rate and the number of quality Kunming police dogs available, bolstering national security as a result,” Wei Hongjiang, a professor at Yunnan Agricultural University, which participated in the cloning, said.

Kunxun just started basic training course, and police say that she demonstrated “good aptitude” in passing tests. “It seems like that its genetic potential is better than other Kunming wolfdogs,” Wan Jiusheng, a senior researcher at Kunming Police Dog base, noted. Whether the clone truly has an upper hand against fellow canine will be determined by further training.

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