Galloping Ahead

Argentina’s cloning industry breaks new ground.

In the heart of Argentina’s polo culture, a unique industry is thriving – equine cloning. Despite its relatively recent emergence, Argentina has become a global powerhouse in animal cloning, particularly in the realm of polo horses. With nearly 1,000 horses cloned, the country stands tall in the international arena of cloning technology. 

Fuelling this success is Argentina’s rich polo culture and its status as a major exporter of horse meat, providing the perfect ecosystem for industry growth. Technological advancements have catapulted Argentina to the forefront of equine cloning, “with international investors actively participating in the business, making Argentina the country that clones the most horses in the world,” informed an agricultural engineer specialising in reproductive techniques.

The country’s strong polo culture and its position as a major exporter of horse meat have provided fertile ground for industry expansion and establishing it as a global leader. “There is demand, there are clients that drive growth,” confirmed the agricultural engineer. This existing infrastructure and expertise in the equestrian sector have facilitated the adoption of cloning technology. 

Additionally, advancements in technology have played a pivotal role in propelling Argentina to the forefront of equine cloning. “The technology exists, the resources exist and there is demand,” affirmed a scientist specialising in animal cloning. He continued, “Although within the economy as a whole, it is still a niche business, it is undoubtedly a sector that needs to be supported, given the need for specialised human resources it attracts, the research and development it provides, and the exports it makes.”  

“The technology exists, the resources exist and there is demand, although within the economy as a whole, it is still a niche business.”

Scientist specialising in animal cloning, Argentina

Moreover, Argentina’s favourable regulatory environment and lack of specific legislation for animal cloning have allowed the industry to flourish. “Animal cloning is not regulated, and I honestly don’t know and doubt that a new regulation is being worked on,” the agricultural engineer commented. This regulatory flexibility has enabled researchers and entrepreneurs to explore innovative applications of cloning technology without being stifled by excessive red tape. “How will the issue continue?” mused the animal cloning specialist. “As it is now, better in some cases, as it can be in others. It is a bit of a reflection of what is happening in the country.” 

Argentina has made strides in cloning other species, such as zebras and rhinoceroses, showcasing the versatility and potential of this technology. Yet, export potential in these areas still lags behind that of horse cloning. The scientist continued, “Cloning for cloning’s sake makes no sense and is objectionable if it is not for scientific or medical advancement.” 

However, the road to profitability is not without its challenges. The agricultural engineer remarked, “Financially, cloning is still very expensive and, although I don’t know if it is the best word, inefficient,” making it a tough nut to crack for potential investors. “The efficiency rate is very low, no more than 2%, it is not an industry for everyone.” Moreover, ethical concerns surrounding both human and animal cloning loom large. “Human cloning, where the issue of respect for the dignity of the human being and the basic principles governing medically assisted procreation are very much in doubt,” claimed the engineer. 

“The efficiency rate is very low, no more than 2%, it is not an industry for everyone.”

Agricultural engineer, Argentina

In Latin America, interest in cloning technology is burgeoning, “with international investors actively participating in the business,” affirmed the engineer specialist. However, each country (like Brazil, Mexico and Chile) faces its own set of challenges and is at different stages of development. The reproductive specialist expanded, “There is competition, as is to be expected, not only nationally but also internationally, which is a complication for the local investor because the local business environment does not usually support the national.” 

Moving forward, the cloning industry in Argentina and Latin America must navigate financial constraints and “the complicated ethical issues” to ensure sustainable growth. “In the meantime,” furthered the engineer, “we will have to continue as we are now, in which only a public body linked to agricultural biotechnology must be informed of any genetic modification that is being worked on.” The continued advancements in technology and collaboration, means the industry holds immense potential for growth and innovation in the years to come.

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