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Copy cat: Chinese firm creates first cloned kitten

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Seven months after Huang Yu’s pet cat Garlic died, the British shorthair was given a 10th life.

Born on July 21, the new Garlic was created by Chinese firm Sinogene, becoming the Beijing-based company’s first successfully copied cat.

The pet-cloning outfit has made more than 40 pet dogs — a procedure that costs a hefty 380,000 yuan ($53,000), while the price for a cat comes in at 250,000 yuan ($35,000).

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Mi Jidong, the company’s chief executive officer, told AFP that despite the high price tag, not all clients were high earners.

AFP / STR The cost of cloning a cat comes in at 250,000 yuan ($35,000)

“In fact, a large proportion of customers are young people who have only graduated in the last few years,” he said.

“Whatever the origin of pets, owners will see them as part of the family. Pet cloning meets the emotional needs of young generations.”

Huang, 23, was overjoyed on first seeing Garlic’s second incarnation, saying the “similarity between the two cats is more than 90 percent”.

“When Garlic died, I was very sad,” said Huang. “I couldn’t face the facts because it was a sudden death. I blame myself for not taking him to the hospital in time, which led to his death.”

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The happy owner says he hopes the personality of the new Garlic is as similar to his old white-and-grey cat as its appearance.

AFP / STR The pet-cloning outfit has created more than 40 pet dogs

With a growing pet market in China, and a huge appetite among their owners for spending, Mi thinks the market for pet cloning is also set to rocket.

According to a report by Pet Fair Asia and pet website Goumin.com, pet-related spending in China reached 170.8 bn yuan ($23.7 billion) in 2018.

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And the country’s scientists have big aspirations for their next cloning challenge, working on the theory that if cats can be cloned, so can pandas.

AFP / STR Pet cloning is illegal in many countries but approved in countries including South Korea and the US

Chen Dayuan — an expert at the Chinese Academy of Sciences who has been researching giant panda cloning for 20 years — said there could even be scope for cats to give birth to cloned baby pandas, which are smaller than baby cats despite their large size when fully grown.

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Pet cloning is illegal in many countries but approved in countries including South Korea and the US, where singer Barbra Streisand announced last year she had cloned her dog.

The first major success in animal cloning was Dolly the sheep, born in Britain in 1996 as the first mammal cloned from an adult cell.

In 2005, researchers in South Korea cloned the first dog. The Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in Seoul says it has cloned some 800 pets and charges $100,000 each.

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Pence brags Trump will give adoption agencies the ‘right’ to ban LGBTQ parents: ‘We will stand for the freedom of religion’

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Vice President Mike Pence this week attended a federal government event during which he bragged about the Trump administration’s latest attack on LGBTQ people. The vice president (video below) heralded a fast-tracked proposed policy from the Dept. of Health and Human Services that would reverse an Obama-era rule barring discrimination by adoption and foster care agencies against LGBTQ people and same-sex couples.

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Trump flying in for last-ditch rally to save Louisiana GOP governor candidate with ‘really bad’ vote returns

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Republicans suffered a major blow in Kentucky after Gov. Matt Bevin, a firm ally of President Donald Trump, was defeated by Democratic state Attorney General Andy Beshear — despite the president's efforts to help the GOP, culminating in a massive rally in Lexington on the eve of the election.

Now, according to Politico, GOP strategists are worried that a similar outcome could happen in Louisiana, where conservative Democrat John Bel Edwards will stand for re-election on Saturday against Trump-loving businessman Eddie Rispone.

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Jon Huntsman announces 2020 bid for Utah Governor

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This coming 2020, Jon Huntsman Jr. will be running for Utah governor, Fox 13 reports.

In a YouTube video posted Thursday morning, Huntsman said that the state has been his home "for a very long time, and will be for a very long time."

“We’ve served our country in the top two diplomatic posts in the world. Now we feel it is time to give back to our home state, again," he said.

Huntsman was the governor of Utah from 2005 until 2009. When his term ended, he became the United States ambassador of China. In 2012, he ran for president as a Republican.

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