Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

South Korea Deploys Cloned Drug-Sniffing Dogs

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the gee-your-dogs-sure-like-cocaine-a-lot dept.

Biotech 154

Hugh Pickens writes "BBC reports that six puppies cloned from a Canadian-born sniffer dog in late 2007 have reported for duty to check for drugs at Seoul's Incheon International Airport after completing a 16-month training course. The customs agency says clones help to lower crime-fighting costs as it is difficult to find good sniffer dogs. Only about 30% of naturally-born sniffer dogs make the grade, but South Korean scientists say that could rise to 90% using the cloning method. The puppies, each called 'Toppy' for 'Tomorrow's Puppy,' are part of a litter of seven who were cloned from a 'superb' drug-sniffing Canadian Labrador retriever called Chase at a cost of about $239,000. 'They are the world's first cloned sniffer dogs deployed at work,' says customs spokesman Park Jeong-Heon. 'They showed better performances in detecting illegal drugs during the training than other naturally-born sniffer dogs that we have.'"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Standing still (4, Informative)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755415)

I followed the Snuppy project quite closely, (in fact I am the main contributor to the Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] - shameless plug), so it's great to see further developments stemming from that. However something that a Kennel Club spokesman said when Snuppy was first cloned comes to mind here:

"Canine cloning runs contrary to the Kennel Club's objective 'To promote in every way the general improvement of dogs' ... Cloning cannot be used to make improvements because the technique simply produces genetic replicas of existing dogs." [src] [bbc.co.uk]

So what they have now are the best drug dogs they will ever have, their abilities can't improve any - they will be the same as the dog they were cloned from.

Re:Standing still (2, Interesting)

seekret (1552571) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755493)

So what they have now are the best drug dogs they will ever have, their abilities can't improve any - they will be the same as the dog they were cloned from.

At least until genetics research gets to the point where they can modify the dog's genes and improve them in the lab. This is pretty awesome, It's the first cloning story I've heard that was positive and didn't end with disfigured sheep. (i haven't been following the progress on cloning so i wouldn't know if this is the first success story or not)

Re:Standing still (1, Funny)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755541)

Until they can improve them in lab retrievers, it'll just be a scientific exercise.

Re:Standing still (2, Interesting)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755631)

i haven't been following the progress on cloning so i wouldn't know if this is the first success story or not)

a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolly_%28sheep%29">Dolly the sheep was the first cloned mammal, in 1996. The first success story for canine cloning was Snuppy [wikipedia.org] back in 2005. South Korea (where Snuppy was cloned) have been cloning animals fairly consistently since then. I actually thought they had cloned working dogs long before now.

Bah (1)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755635)

That should be Dolly the sheep [wikipedia.org] . Clicked right through the preview.

Can They Clone "Sniffing" Drugs? (2, Insightful)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756547)

Make enough to crash the prices, and destroy the profit motive for maintaining a market. Everybody wins! :-)

Re:Standing still (5, Interesting)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755495)

Yet they have increased the population's frequency of the genes that code for "superb sniffer". So they have improved the population.

If the Toppys produce viable offspring via natural methods, there is the potential for an offspring that is even better than the Toppy, due to currently unknown gene combinations.

Re:Standing still (1)

Forge (2456) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755793)

If the Toppys produce viable offspring via natural methods, there is the potential for an offspring that is even better than the Toppy, due to currently unknown gene combinations.

The same possibility as if the "Father" was extremely promiscuous.

Not to say this isn't significant. As far as I know this is the 1st time a Mammal has been cloned simply to reproduce a disierable set of genetic traits.

Re:Standing still (2, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756497)

As far as I know this is the 1st time a Mammal has been cloned simply to reproduce a disierable set of genetic traits

It has been done before. Admittedly it was a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Standing still (1)

onion2k (203094) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755517)

Their innate abilities can't improve, but that's not to say there aren't other ways that they might be better drug sniffers than their ancestors - improving training, diet, exercise, rewards, and simply having more dogs because they're cheaper would all serve to increase detection rates.

Re:Standing still (5, Insightful)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755531)

This also raises big problems as far as disease resistance goes -- if all the dogs are genetically identical they will all have identical immune systems, making it far easier for a single strain of disease to wipe out a large chunk of them.

On a totally unrelated note -- why are we so concerned with drug sniffing dogs? OMG!! Someone wants to get high!!! Quick -- clone some dogs so that we can put them in jail!!! This whole drug prohibition thing is beyond infantile, but I digress. Why not use the time and effort to create better service dogs, or bomb-sniffing dogs?

Re:Standing still (1, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755761)

Take your last sentence, add some preamble, and post it to your congressman.

That kind of sentiment is wasted here.

Re:Standing still (4, Insightful)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755883)

On a totally unrelated note -- why are we so concerned with drug sniffing dogs? OMG!! Someone wants to get high!!! Quick -- clone some dogs so that we can put them in jail!!!

It is not quite as simple as that. These dogs are not just out there to find the little bag-o-mary in your inside coat pocket, they are there to pick up on a variety of stronger drugs that are massively addictive and cause the country various troubles such as the extra crime created by the badly addicted running out of money but still needing their next fix, needing to run treatment programs for the addicted, needing to fund medical care for the health complications that result from certain drug use and persist even long after the addiction is dealt with, and so on.

I would agree that seeing this research go into bomb sniffing as well as drug sniffing dogs, but how do we know it isn't in another lab? This report is specifically about one set of dogs resulting from one lab's work, which happens to center around a particularly proficient drug detecting animal.

Re:Standing still (5, Insightful)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756081)

It is not quite as simple as that. These dogs are not just out there to find the little bag-o-mary in your inside coat pocket, they are there to pick up on a variety of stronger drugs that are massively addictive and cause the country various troubles such as the extra crime created by the badly addicted running out of money but still needing their next fix, needing to run treatment programs for the addicted, needing to fund medical care for the health complications that result from certain drug use and persist even long after the addiction is dealt with, and so on.

I don't think the fact that some drugs are bad for you and can be detrimental to society is really is question -- the only question is whether or not prohibition helps the situation. In nearly every regard, prohibition fails to improve the situation and only serves to exacerbate it. Users get lower quality product with no dosage control, making accidental overdose far more likely. People are much less likely to come forward with drug addiction problems when they can be thrown in prison. Prohibition greatly increases the price of drugs, making addicts far more likely to turn to crime to fund their addiction. Prohibition puts the distribution in the hands of hardened criminals, rather than say, a licensed professional. Prohibition makes no financial sense -- the government spends money fighting the drugs rather than raking in tax dollars from the purchase of the drugs. Finally, and possibly most importantly, making drugs illegal does absolutely nothing to stop people from using them. In fact, there is much evidence to suggest that prohibition increases drug use. I could go on and on, but I think I make my point fairly clear, drug prohibition is entirely infantile and serves no purpose other than to be a huge burden on our society.

Re:Standing still (4, Insightful)

smartr (1035324) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756311)

While there is a strong rational argument for drug decriminalization (just look at Portugal), the real problem is that people hate liberty and loath tolerance.

Except for smoking? (1)

thaig (415462) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756587)

Hasn't the ban on smoking in public places had any effect? I'm certainly a big fan of that one.

On another note, would you like big tobacco firms to be given the product of their dreams to sell? How do you think society would cope with that - same as with smoking?

Re:Standing still (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28756621)

Actually I have one point of concern about your post. Since Dispensaries (sp?) started up in my home town in Washington state, the street price on a 40-bag has gone up to 50+. The price on a quarter pound has gone up by a few HUNDRED!

Re:Standing still (1)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756903)

Lower demand can, paradoxically, for a short amount of time, raise the price. Until suppliers compensate.

Think about it. It still costs the same to get illegal drugs there. Everyone is doing the same work, taking the same risk...and less people are buying the drugs.

Hence the drugs have to be sold for more to pay everyone the same amount.

What will eventually happen is that people in the illegal drug industry will stop working in said industry, or switch to other drugs, at which point the price will go down past the original amount.

But the illegal chain stretching from who-knows-where to your front door supplying the drugs takes a long time to compensate, especially as it's entirely possible that 90% of the people in it, who consider themselves 'businessmen', nevertheless have no business sense at all and couldn't foresee a drop in demand.

Re:Standing still (4, Interesting)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756027)

I don't think you can say that immune systems are identical among genetic twins. At birth, if they were carried by the same mother, probably; beyond that there are other variables. Fundamentally similar, but not identical.

In any case, I'm not sure genetic monoculture is that big a threat here. If you have a sizable population of these dogs living together, I suppose it becomes an issue.

Why the focus on drug dogs? You've really raised two questions there. The broader social question of "why the focus on drugs" may be valid, but it's beside the point. That's the legal/political background of the story. Given that background, the more relevant question - why drug dogs instead of, say, service dogs - is a simple matter of cost/benefit. Service dogs aren't cheap, but this cloning project cost $40k per dog, and that doesn't even include the normal costs of training each dog.

For drug dogs, they say that's cheap compared to normal breeding programs once you adjust for the higher success rate. For service dogs, I'm just gonna go out on a limb here and say they need to let others pioneer the process and get the cost down.

Of course, with a relatively large population like service dogs, the concern of a genetic monoculture is greater.

Re:Standing still (5, Informative)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756033)

if all the dogs are genetically identical they will all have identical immune systems

      Bzzzt - wrong.

      Sorry, I'm a doctor, and I can't let this one slide. Not sure how it is in dogs, but it can't be that much different than humans. Although their immune system will be GENETICALLY the same, the nice thing about immune systems is that they learn and adapt throughout your life. You are not "born" with immunity to certain diseases. You ACQUIRE it. Animals are not like plants where a monoculture is vulnerable to a single pathogen. Plants don't have active, adaptive immune systems like animals do.

      While certain genetic disorders of the immune system would be cloned, in theory, these disorders tend to be rare. I think it would be safe to assume that the goal of the program was to clone healthy dogs. Provided these dogs get their shots, they should be just as "safe" as any other dog.

Re:Standing still (2, Informative)

jonadab (583620) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756217)

> You are not "born" with immunity to certain diseases. You ACQUIRE it.

You acquire immunity, but you can also be born with inherited resistance, and having an entire population be genetically identical *can* be dangerous. (See, for instance, what happened to the Gros Michel banana cultivar.)

Re:Standing still (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28756789)

Reading comprehension: fail.
Following the section of the GP that you quoted is

Animals are not like plants where a monoculture is vulnerable to a single pathogen. Plants don't have active, adaptive immune systems like animals do.

Your example was a plant. For future reference, an animal example would have been relevant.

Re:Standing still (1)

SlashBugs (1339813) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756433)

Dunbal is right - the adaptive immune system is basically the same in all vertebrates. So dogs will have a small number of directly inherited pathogen recognition receptors (e.g. TLRs) and a much larger (by several orders of magnitude) library of randomly generated ones in the form of antibodies or B- or T-cell receptors. Having a big population with the same MHC types could create a small shared vulnerability to the spread of disease, but I wouldn't worry too much about it. Thanks to the adaptive immune system, a monoculture of cloned vertebrates isn't comparable to a monoculture of e.g. plants.

Re:Standing still (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756739)

Till there's a parasite problem...

Seems sexual reproduction helps create descendants who are more resistant to parasites.

Re:Standing still (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28756567)

While the GP was wrong technically, he is correct in wondering about the risks of genetic monoculture - it's just not due to "identical immune system." Instead, we have to consider things like disease resistant polymorphisms (see also: innate HIV immunity and resistance) that will be eliminated by a genetically identical population. Although admittedly I think it's silly to worry about a genetic monoculture in animals, especially when the number of genetically identical animals is so low compared to the population (additionally, dogs have incredible genetic diversity).

Re:Standing still (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28756655)

Based on how many mistakes doctors seem to make, I don't think that qualifies you to be trusted on anything. How do you explain immunity to HIV? Are you seriously saying it isn't genetic?

People with immunity to HIV lack receptors on their white blood cells - that's a genetic condition. The variety of antibodies you produce is genetic. Auto-immune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, while theoretically having a viral trigger, are genetic. To say immunity is not genetic is absolutely one of the most ignorant things I've heard a doctor say - and I'm in a family of doctors.

Re:Standing still (2, Insightful)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756983)

Based on how many mistakes doctors seem to make, I don't think that qualifies you to be trusted on anything.

Based upon the effluence of moronic filth posted by Anonymous Coward, you are not qualified to say anything, on any subject, ever.

Re:Standing still (1)

Xphile101361 (1017774) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756171)

On a totally unrelated note -- why are we so concerned with drug sniffing dogs? OMG!! Someone wants to get high!!! Quick -- clone some dogs so that we can put them in jail!!! This whole drug prohibition thing is beyond infantile, but I digress. Why not use the time and effort to create better service dogs, or bomb-sniffing dogs?

On a totally unrelated note -- why are we so concerned with bomb sniffing dogs? OMG!! There may be one terrorist attempt on one of the thirty one million flights per year! Panic and throw money at the war on terror!! This whole war on terror thing is beyond infantile, but I digress. Why not use the time and effort to create cuter fluffier puppies so that everyone will be happy, with rainbows and sunshine.

Re:Standing still (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756177)

This also raises big problems as far as disease resistance goes -- if all the dogs are genetically identical they will all have identical immune systems, making it far easier for a single strain of disease to wipe out a large chunk of them.

And perhaps some weakness in their sniffing capabilities that could be exploited.

Re:Standing still (1)

knappe duivel (914316) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756593)

Why not use the time and effort to create better service dogs, or bomb-sniffing dogs?

They allowed the dogs to follow their preference - seems 90% chose sniffing out drugs over explosives.

Re:Standing still (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28757701)

I never imagined that people used to get high in south korea

Re:Standing still (5, Insightful)

Barsteward (969998) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755557)

"Canine cloning runs contrary to the Kennel Club's objective 'To promote in every way the general improvement of dogs' ... "
The KCs objective is complete and utter crap. Since when has encouraging bulldogs and the like to get more deformed to be as close as to the KCs definition of what makes a perfect example of a breed. Bulldogs should be at least twice the height they are now and should be able to breath properly.
I'd take dog cloning that produces a healthy dog over a KCs definition any day of the week.

Re:Standing still (3, Informative)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755669)

you're 100% correct...English Bulldogs are an abomination.

Did you know they can't even reproduce without artificial insemination? How is that considered a good thing? It's horrible. Our neighbors have one, and we dog-sat while they were gone. The poor thing could barely breathe. It was so bad, that when it was sleeping, if you didn't hear this rasping groaning snore coming from it, you'd think it was dying.

Unreal. I feel so badly for the dog. It's a sweet dog too, that's the thing of it. I just wish people would stop breeding them the way they do and let nature take its course.

Re:Standing still (3, Insightful)

jonadab (583620) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756323)

Actually, if you want a healthy dog, all else being equal, what you want is a mutt, a dog that resulted not from planned breeding but from an "encounter" between random parent dogs of entirely unrelated stock. Ideally, you want a multi-generation mutt, a dog of such mixed breeding that you can't identify which specific breeds any of its parents or grandparents may have been.

All else being equal, a clone should be about as healthy as its "parent", but a *population* of clones would not be as healthy as a population with a more diverse genome, because part of the healthiness and robustness of the population stems from the genetic diversity it contains. (And that's true even assuming the clones are perfect copies, so that there's no replicative fading.)

Re:Standing still (1)

phillips321 (955784) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756879)

Ditto! My pooch is a Heinz 57 variety. We got him from a rescue centre so haven't got a clue what he is. He looks like a small German Shepheard, collie sized, but with longer softer fur. He works excellent for catching rabbits, is very well behaved, is very clever (sometimes too clever for his own boots) but most of all i don't think he's even been ill except for one time when i went on a canoe trip. 2 weeks of rain and plenty of dirty water made us both ill.

He'll follow me where ever i go, when i take him up the Brecon Beacons he'll take his own backpack and carry his own food and supplies, like hell will i carry them for him!

And before i forget to mention this dog is around 10-11 years of age. I'm sure eating a rabbit or 2 every week for his life has helped his health!

Re:Standing still (1)

Whorhay (1319089) | more than 5 years ago | (#28757609)

Your description reminds me of a dog my family ahd when I was growing up. She was half Norwegian Elkhound and half mut. She was a very pretty dog and looked a lot like a German Sheperd in coloration and such.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_elkhound [wikipedia.org]

Ours was much like the dogs pictured though she was mainly black with light brown and a little grey. Her tail was also not as tightly curled though I only ever saw it not raised when she was in absolute cower mode.

Some Questions (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755901)

So, how viable is dog cloning? Is it easy to clone dogs? The Wikipedia article mentions a success rate of one in 123. Is that one in 123 embryos? Is that considered to be a good or a bad result? Also, do the cloned animals have a normal life expectancy? I seem to remember there were some problems with cloned animals dying quicker than "normal" animals.

Really curious about this, haven't heard much about it since Dolly.

Re:Standing still (4, Informative)

ljw1004 (764174) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755985)

On the other hand, the Kennel Club's ideas about "improvement" just mean that their committee picked an arbitrary and unhealthy dog aesthetic and then got breeders to breed towards it. There was no "improvement" in it at all...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7828455.stm [bbc.co.uk]

"The Kennel Club has introduced new standards for 209 breeds, following concerns about ill health in pedigree dogs caused by years of in-breeding. Last year, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals pulled out of Crufts, saying breeding to exaggerate certain features, such as bulldogs' jowls, had led to painful deformities. Now new rules designed to prevent exaggeration and incestuous breeding have been brought in.

"Ryan O'Meara, from the K9 dog magazine, said the changes were long overdue. "When we breed dogs to a set of physical standards and ignore the health consequences, it's really unforgivable," he told the BBC News website. Mr O'Meara said the bulldog was "a vivid illustration of how wrong we can get it". "Bulldogs have been bred to a point where they die at about seven years of age - in human terms that's just 45 or 46," he said. "They can't breathe properly. They can't support themselves because their heads are too big. They have terrible skin conditions. "The public must be educated to see dogs not for their aesthetic appeal but to think about their health."

Re:Standing still (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756831)

> The public must be educated to see dogs not for their aesthetic appeal but to think about their health.

Huh, when I look at a bulldog I see a really unhealthy dog, what aesthetic appeal? So many of the "Kennel breeds" are crap. They're breeding cripples and twisted "bonsais". Back problems, tendency to become paraplegics, tendency to go deaf or blind...

As for those who claim that "mutts" are better, I disagree. You can have good working dogs - go ask the shepherds that use dogs. Sure there'll be some "bugs" somewhere, but even "mutts" often have problems too, you just don't know what they are.

Re:Standing still (1)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756017)

I think they're not cloning dogs because they want to improve, but to increase the availability of a scarce resource, drug sniffing dogs. The genetic enhancement of those dogs still goes on in parallel. So, what's the problem?

Re:Standing still (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28756169)

It's funny that kennel clubs claim to promote improvements in dogs, when their policies allow inbreeding and emphasizes maintaining "pure" breeds, which restricts the very improvements that they claim to promote.

link to akc's official stance on inbreeding:
http://www.akc.org/about/faq.cfm?page=10

Re:Standing still (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28756565)

[...] that a Kennel Club [...]

Am I the only one who read Kernel Club ?

Good drugs would help Korea (2, Informative)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 5 years ago | (#28757405)

There are two things about the illegal drugs situation that the South Koreans should consider.
One is that there are basically three types of illegal drugs: the addictive opiates, the 'boosters' activity-increasing drugs like amphetamines/cocaine, and the mind-expander/entertainment/recreationals like marijuana/hashish/cannibus or the psychedelics like LSD/ecstasy.

    The recreationals are basically a political problem. They are only a problem because the politicians say that they are. For society, they are neutral. They increase creativity and productivity in some people, but not in most people. Korea would probably be a little better off if the politicians look the other way at any weed/psychedelic use. Roughly 25% of middle class Americans have been using these drugs at various times of their lives with no real ill-effect on society. The positive effects of these drugs on creativity and their ability to dissipate anti-government political activity means that their use wouldn't be a real problem for Korea. (I know you disagree, but this is the basic reality of the situation). Of course, it will never happen in Korea.

    The boosters are a problem when the manager class in Korea quietly encourages or ignores their use in order to get people to work longer and harder, two or more jobs. This is their main function in the USA. These are harmful substances and will destroy public health with their wide use. The government should discourage the manager class from promoting these drugs onto their workers. Of course, it will never happen in Korea.

    The real danger is the addictive opiates such as heroin. They change basic body chemistry to make it nearly impossible to stop taking them after the addiction transformation, which happens after a few weeks of constant use. Then huge powerful corrupt criminal organizations form to supply this drug to addicts. The addicts provide the drug to non-addicts to get new customers to pay for their own addiction. There is huge increase in theft and prostitution resulting from the introduction of heroin.

    South Korea lives next door to a huge violent corrupt criminal organization across its northern border. When these criminals decide to flood the south with huge amounts of heroin, there will be little that the South Koreans can do to stop them. This would lead to a new very-bloody round of the endless Korean civil war, which nobody wants at this time. Having clone dope-sniffing dogs at the airport will do nothing to keep North Korean heroin out of the South, because the North will use tunnels and boats to bring the heroin into the South. It is possible, but not likely, that a renegade force of the North Korean army will start a drug trade in the South to get money and power for their group. It is more likely that these splinter North Korean criminal gangs will supply illegal booster-types drugs to Japan and the Philippines.

    Primarily the dope-sniffing dogs will be used to find harmless amounts of recreational/entertainment drugs on tourists and western backpackers. Then the authorities will make a big show of imposing draconian and brutal penalties on these unlucky but harmless tourists in order to show that they are 'tough' on 'decadent western influences and lifestyles'.

    However if it weren't for decadent western influences and lifestyles, they would still be as dirt-poor and primitive as they were in 1953. Just another example of Asian duplicity, hypocrisy, and cruelty. Ever wonder why millions of American college graduates are trying to move to crime-ridden neighborhoods in Asian cities in order to open little grocery stores so that their children can have a hope of a better future?

Retirement (4, Funny)

Eddy Luten (1166889) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755469)

And when they retire they'll make for a tasty snack [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Retirement (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755673)

Indeed. I've never understood the western need to demonize dog meat consumption. Granted I wouldn't eat it myself as it's just a little too ingrained as a cultural taboo for me. However as a meat eater in general, I certainly can't find fault with others eating meat, and dogs are just as much animals as cows or chickens, so if they wanna grill em up, then more power to em.

Re:Retirement (3, Interesting)

KneelBeforeZod (1527235) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755845)

I've had dog meat. I'm in korea now and I've had it both grilled and stewed in soup. Its not bad. Kinda oily and a bit gamy but tastes like meat. Now I wonder what cat tastes like. They're much more worthless than dogs. ~If it has four legs and its not a table, eat it~ Cantonese saying.

Re:Retirement (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755931)

Indeed. I've never understood the western need to demonize dog meat consumption. Granted I wouldn't eat it myself as it's just a little too ingrained as a cultural taboo for me.

Asked and answered.

Re:Retirement (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756949)

Actually, I believe it comes from Judeo Kashrut practices. We (Western European) societies are heavily influenced by the whole Judeo Christian ethic. This however doesn't explain our fascination with Pork [recovery.gov] (pun intended)

Re:Retirement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28755945)

Yeah. It's the same with horse meat. Some people go like "zOMG, you barbarian!" when you tell them about tasty, low-fat horse meat while they don't seem to mind about eating the corpses of other animals.

Re:Retirement (1)

Tweenk (1274968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755983)

Indeed. I've never understood the western need to demonize dog meat consumption.

Apart from the fact that people are unlikely to eat species of animals they keep as pets, dog is unclean according to Jewish tradition. There are few unclean animals that are commonly used in Western cuisines (only pigs are really common).

Re:Retirement (2, Funny)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756383)

What do you mean, unclean? I always wash my pigs before I eat them.

Re:Retirement (2, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28757607)

Everything from the sea/waters that does not have fins and scales is out too. That includes lobsters, shrimp, mussels, oysters, catfish, eels, squid (calamari :) ). The French, Italian and Spanish do eat a lot of stuff the "Anglos" don't appear to eat nowadays.

It's not just about clean/unclean. Many of the "clean" animals must also be slaughtered in a certain way (to drain most of the blood out) otherwise they should not be eaten.

Traditionally mixing meat and dairy products = nonkosher. So that means a pizza with meat+cheese toppings is out...

Seems that was extrapolated that from the verse which says something to the effect that you should not cook a calf in its mother's milk (which to me is a rather different thing from making a pizza or a cheese burger). We're probably swallowing protozoa or even dust mites every now and then, so trying to stretch things to include more cases/scenarios seems a bad idea to me. But what do I know...

Re:Retirement (3, Interesting)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756193)

Hear hear. The same with the disgust some people have about the French eating horse meat. As long as the animal has been well treated in life (including the end of its life not involving unnecessarily stress and pain) I don't see a Korean eating dog or a Frenchman eating horse as any worse than me eating pork.

There are those that try bring intelligence into it, claiming that the intelligence of dogs makes them more objectionable as food than what we generally consider farm animals. This is crap as you'll almost certainly find your average pig to be no less intelligent than some dog breads (pigs are probably more than those yappy little rats fashionable people carry around).

My argument stands or falls on the "being treated well" part, of course, and I'm sure you can find many examples of dogs being mistreated prior to being lunch. But the force feeding of geese to produce foie gras, and other examples of abuse closer to home than the east, means that we can't really claim moral superiority on the issue.

Re:Retirement (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756611)

I was already going to Quebec this week and now you've got me wanting to try some horse meat!

Re:Retirement (1)

PatLam (1389819) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756377)

I don't think there is fault in eating dogs, or maybe even cats. I think the real, lets call it problem, is that people will less likely eat something to which they are attached. I do not know what the ration of familly with a dog or a cat in asia is, but what I seem to recall from conversations with asian friends of mine, the lack of space is not too friendly to the keeping of pets in one's house.
So I would guess that asian would be less attached to pets like dogs and cats and therefor, more open to the eating of them. I guess we could compare the eating of horse in western society. If you'd be ridding a horse since you were little and would consider it as you pet, I guess you would most likely not eat it as opposed to someone who I guess never really ever touched or seen a horse in real life would absolutely have no "remorse" about eating it (I'm not counting vegetarians of course, the choice of eating meat or not is not the point of this post).

Re:Retirement (1)

G-Man (79561) | more than 5 years ago | (#28757267)

I think part of it is that it implies betrayal/ingratitude, and in a related way, wastefulness. The *only* reason we keep cows or chickens around is as a source of food (meat, eggs) and materials (leather). Dogs, on the other hand, provide not just companionship but a myriad of other services to us: hunting dogs, seeing-eye dogs, seizure dogs, service dogs, search and rescue, bomb- and drug-sniffing, etc. They help the disabled among us. We take them to war. It seems ungrateful to eat an animal that provides us so much. As I recall from a Nova (or perhaps Nature) documentary, we did not domesticate dogs, they (the Asian wolf) essentially self-domesticated - in exchange for our leftovers they hung around and provided warning against predators, particularly at night when we were vulnerable. There was a social contract made, and by killing and eating them we break the social contract.

Even if one is not so sentimental, there is still the utility/waste aspect of it - why eat an animal that is so otherwise valuable? Eat the stupid cows, that's what they are there for. Don't eat the animal that helps your blind aunt get around every day. I think this helps explain our lesser taboo against eating horse (and perhaps why it is stronger in the US than Europe) - in the Old West horses were vital as the only practical means of transportation. Who would be so stupid to eat something so valuable except in the direst of circumstances?

Re:Retirement (1)

TRS80NT (695421) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755713)

"Mmmmm. This dog smells good."

Expensive... (1)

cyn1c77 (928549) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755487)

At $40K for a cloned-sniffer dog, you'd think it would be cheaper to just start a normal breeding program. Oh well, maybe they will get cheaper as they increase production.

I, for one, welcome our cloned drug-sniffing dog overlords.

Re:Expensive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28755657)

Spending money is what drug prohibition is all about. At the top of the power pyramid, as long as the money passes through your hands, you win. Drug prohibition is an absolute cash cow, pulling billions of dollars through the business of government every year.

Relatively cheap, in fact (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756797)

It costs a lot to train a sniffer dog, far more than $40k, but any electronic equivalent would most likely be much more expensive. Especially a self-guided one.

glad that my tax dollars weren't used for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28755499)

prohibition doesn't work and is a tremendous waste of resources.

They are naturally born (1)

dj245 (732906) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755501)

'They showed better performances in detecting illegal drugs during the training than other naturally-born sniffer dogs that we have.'"

I assume these cloned dogs were naturally born too. But they were not naturally concieved.

Re:They are naturally born (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755789)

No no, these really were test-tube puppies.

The breed is Canadian Lab, but the appearance is Dachshund

Re:They are naturally born (2, Funny)

Mushdot (943219) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755959)

They also knew at that stage the cloning would be a success. The scientists came in in the morning and found the test tube rack had somehow moved closer to the Morphine cupboard.

Nice waste of money (1)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755507)

Considering the fairly large litter size and frequency that you can breed, this really doesn't make much sense when you look at the cost. One thing we have no problem with is breeding dogs and if priced right those that don't make the grade are easily adopted, helping to put some puppy mills out of business.

Re:Nice waste of money (1)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755599)

The problem here, though, is that they aren't in the dog breeding business, they're in the drug enforcement business. They would have no reason (in the box-thinking sense, not the holistic one) to breed other kinds of dogs than the ones they can use.

It would be nice if one could achieve, say, a 0.5 ratio of useful sniffer dog puppies to regular puppies, but if one could achieve a 1.0 ratio at double the price, you don't need to bother with all those customers wanting to buy the, um, byproduct. And, really, puppy mills are handled by a different agency altogether.

Sad but true.

Re:Nice waste of money (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755619)

Training isn't free. If you take your success rate from 30% to 90%, you need less trainers, and so on.

Re:Nice waste of money (1)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755701)

The South Korean Government has been throwing money at canine cloning since about 2003 (they funded the research of the Snuppy cloning) and they've been cash-rolling all the development since then. So either they're spending the money cloning them just because they can (which is what they *have* been doing for the last 3 years) or they spend it on drug dogs. It actually works out cheaper as prior to this they were paying for drug dogs and cloning.

Are they taking preorders? (2, Funny)

dangle (1381879) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755511)

'Cause I'm ready for my own Semi-Autonomous Guard Unit.

New Meme? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28755577)

In South Korea only cloned dogs sniff for drugs.

why bother? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28755601)

wouldn't it be cheaper to just end the drug war?

would the spots be the same? (4, Insightful)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755623)

I have a dalmatian

with cloning i wonder if the spots be all the same shape on position?

anyone??

Re:would the spots be the same? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28755763)

No, that was shown with cats a while ago :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CC_(cat)

Re:would the spots be the same? (1)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755823)

Nope. The spots are only partly genetically based, also depends on development and a range of other factors. Much like the first cloned cats were a different colour [nationalgeographic.com] from the original.

Out of interest though, here's Snuppy [en.ce.cn] , and another shot [boooe.com] and here's the dog he was cloned from [wikimedia.org] (on the left).

Re:would the spots be the same? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755847)

My genetics is off on this, but I'm leaning towards not. The type of pigmentation (liver spots, black, different eye colours etc) will be the same, but the location of pigmentation patches will differ.

Re:would the spots be the same? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28757103)

One way that it could work is how it works in rats: one gene codes for the pigment itself, and another codes for an enzyme that places it. About the same amount of spotting could be expected(if the enzyme kinetics are as simple as all of that, I have no idea) but it is almost certain that the spots wouldn't be in the same locations.

Identical Twins not so Identical (1)

mdmkolbe (944892) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756765)

Identical twins have different fingerprints. The same principal probably applies to spots.

Validity..... (1)

Kaptain Kruton (854928) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755721)

With things like this, I cannot help but wonder how much of the claim is true and how much is just a bogus claim given in an attempt to make themselves appear to be better than they really are. I am not saying that this story is false. I do not know. However, history has shown that when groups invest considerable time and/or money in something (or they simply have something to prove), they want to claim they got the best results possible. Sometimes the claims are spot on. Other times, they either exaggerate their claims of "good results" or fail to mention the problems or failures that occurred along with their positive results.

I find a few examples of this in the article. For example, South Korea claims that the number of dogs that "meet the grade" required for sniffer dogs could rise to 90%. That is great.... but what is it now? The litter they created only had seven puppies. How can they claim that that number will eventually rise to 90%? Also, the article claims that the cloned sniffer dogs had better performance that naturally-born sniffer dogs. I do not know much about cloning, so I may be totally ignorant in this next statement. However, I fail to see how a clone can out-perform the original, unless their is some type of mutation or variation in every one of the offspring. To me, this suggests that either the results are being exaggerated or the puppies are not identical to the parent. If this is the case and the variations are that easy and significant, I want to know if there are negative variations (such as arthritis or other health problems) that they failed to mention.

But that is just my $0.02

Re:Validity..... (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755837)

Well, from their litter of seven, six are currently being used after their training. That isn't >90% but it's pretty good. Second, I believe what they mean from "cloned sniffer dogs had better performance that naturally-born sniffer dogs" is that the percentage of cloned dogs that are useful in drug sniffing is much higer than the percentage of naturally born sniffing dogs that end up passing the same training.

Now the reason for needing these dogs is another argument altogether...

Re:Validity..... (1)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755877)

Also, the article claims that the cloned sniffer dogs had better performance that naturally-born sniffer dogs.

From the context, I would assume that the performance comparision would be between the clones and the other non-cloned dogs in the training program. It could have been stated plainly, but then I would have had no reason to post this comment.

Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28755725)

In Canada, sniffer dogs come in bags.

Sounds Similar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28755755)

Next step start cloning Storm Troopers

George Clinton was prescient (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755817)

Dope Dog, an undercover narc with a bark, genetically engineered etc.

In other news... (3, Interesting)

needs2bfree (1256494) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755833)

"CBC reports that six soldiers cloned from Canadian-born Rick Hillier in late 2007 have reported for duty to check for terrorists in Afganistan after completing a 16-month training course. The Canadian Armed Forces says clones help to lower fighting costs as it is difficult to find good soldiers. Only about 30% of naturally-born soldiers make the grade, but Canadian scientists say that could rise to 90% using the cloning method. The soldier, each called 'Ricky', are part of a set of seven who were cloned from a 'superb' former chief of defense staff, General Rick Hillier, CMM, MSC, CD, at a cost of about $239,000. 'They are the world's first cloned soldiers deployed at work,' says current chief of defense General Walter Natynczyk. 'They showed better performances in detecting terrorists during the training than other naturally-born soldiers that we have.'"

Re:In other news... (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 5 years ago | (#28757049)

That is the basic plot of this movie [imdb.com]

Re:In other news... (1)

JOrgePeixoto (853808) | more than 5 years ago | (#28757145)

Could you tell me what was your point?

Re:In other news... (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28757249)

We'll have the technology for fully functional and even ethical robot soldiers years before we get to that kind of cloning.

Re:In other news... (1)

Mr. Sanity (1161283) | more than 5 years ago | (#28757349)

I know this is tongue-in-cheek, but it does highlight a big problem with people's ethical views on human clones. Most people have the attitude that somehow, clones of humans are magically non-people, without basic human rights. So many human cloning pipedreams have what amounts to slavery (or organ harvesting or other unsavory things) as their end-goal.

Joke? (1, Funny)

Chysn (898420) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755997)

So, a drug-sniffing dog and a bomb-sniffing dog are having a drink after work, talking a little shop. Drug-sniffing dog whispers, "Hey, see that woman over there? She's got a gram of cocaine in her purse."

Bomb-sniffing dog says, "See that man over at the bar, the one with the duck on his head? He's about to have a really bad day."

Re:Joke? (1)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756729)

Go ahead and WOOSH me, because... I don't get it at all. Someone explain this to the rest of us?

Re:Joke? (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756809)

Cuz the duck's gonna poop on his drink any minute. Haha. Funny.

that's part of what makes korea so dumb. (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756145)

If they had just used blood hounds or beagles instead of labrador retrievers, they would have a much higher percentage of passable dogs.

Everyone knows blood hounds and beagles have better noses than retrievers.

Re:that's part of what makes korea so dumb. (2, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756421)

Everyone knows blood hounds and beagles have better noses than retrievers.

It's more than just noses. Labs are often used because they're well behaved (after puppyhood), easy to work with and have noses that are as good as most bloodhounds. Beagles especially would not be a good choice since they are pack hounds and tend not to work well individually. Labs are generally fairly sturdy and able to walk around all day long. Then walk around even more.

Besides, they're cuter.

this is the wrong way (1)

bitt3n (941736) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756205)

why are they cloning better drug dogs, when you could completely solve the problem simply by cloning people who aren't drug dealers?

kekekekekekeke (1)

mikeee (137160) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756289)

Everybody knows this is just a cover for their work towards zerglings!

Seventh Puppy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28756335)

"...part of a litter of seven who were cloned..." but "...six puppies...have reported for duty..." -- what happened to the seventh?

Oblig. (1)

dp_wiz (954921) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756341)

I for one welcome our new drug-sniffing overlords!

Horse Racing (1)

RawJoe (712281) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756345)

I'm sure whatever body governs horse racing will object/prevent this, but can you imagine. Instead of putting your champion horse to stud, you just allow him to be cloned. 12 identical horses competing against each other.

Keep it up! (1)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756785)

If the world cloned more Canadians, it would likely be a nicer place. :)

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?