caldanmc said:My take on cloning is this;
If you look at the cattle that have been cloned, or at least the ones that most of us have heard of, you will notice that most are geared to the show ring. It started with te 5 Flush calves, and Heatwave 1 (Wave on Wave) and I am sure that there are many more. Just this year in denver, they offered the genetic cell line of, I believe it was, Strictly Business. The semen from these cloned bulls will most likely be used to produce show cattle, as will the offspring. Do those show calves eventually make it to the food chain? Yes, they will, but the actual amount of beef put into the market is just a drop in the bucket when campared to the industry as a whole.
There are certainly exceptions to this. For example, I believe that Coleman's in Montana cloned their Record yearling weight holder for the limousin breed, COLE First Down. I could see the clones from him having a greater impact on the beef industry than any of the cloned clubby bulls just simply because he was geared more toward the commercial producer.
Is cloning scary, to some it is, but it is more unnatural than anything. Should we as cattle producers be playing God? Some would say no, but if you think about it, it is just the next step in a progression that started with A.I. and then moved to E.T. Both of those technologies basically gave us the ability to capitalize on proven, predictable genetics. Cloning assures that we get those genetics to start with. You still have to manage the cattle correctly in order to get a good end product.
I do see it as a negative thing if we as producers or customers begin to rely on it, especially now that the TH and PHA thing is getting to be so big. Those two things are already shaping how we manage our cowherds. If we continue to clone that type of bulls, we stand to move backwards in addressing these to problems.
Coning is a tool that some cattle producers have opted to use. I don't see it as a huge issue, especially with the cost involved at the present time. As far as beef is concerned, I am not worried. Besides, how do we even know if a steer that we buy is a Heatwave or a Heatwave 1? Genetically, they are the same.
genes said:My "problem" with cloning is that it doesn't make sense to me from a genetic improvement standpoint. Because the whole point of breeding is to get something better. I mean, oh sure, it doesn't always work that way. But it should be the goal. Cloning means staying the same, sticking with the status quo. I think that if these bulls are good enough to be cloned, then they should have sons out there that are good enough to use instead. If they don't, then are they really that good of a bull?