Behind the scenes look at cloning in the Texas Panhandle - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Behind the scenes look at cloning in the Texas Panhandle

Amarillo, TX - Questions about cloning continue to surface after a federal judge in Amarillo ruled against the American Quarter Horse Association in a landmark trial.

The organization was ordered to allow cloned horses and their offspring within their registry last month after a jury found the AQHA had violated anti-trust laws.

A decision that could have widespread implications, by opening the door for cloned animals to compete in races across the world.

"These are brand new genetics that would have never been possible," Gregg Veneklasen, veterinarian, Timber Creek Veterinary Hospital.

Cloning began seven years ago in the Texas Panhandle.

With many advancements, one thing remains the same, the controversy behind it.

"A lot of people think we're cloning humans but the technology that we've got, doesn't allow it," says Jason Abraham, horse breeder.

They hope education can wash away the misconceptions.

"The french fries from McDonald's are all clones but we don't talk about it like that. If we said this is green giant cloned corn, you wouldn't eat it," Gregg Veneklasen, veterinarian, Timber Creek Veterinary Hospital.

"When you're looking at an identical twin, you're looking at a clone and that's all we're doing. Ours is just separated by time," says Jason Abraham, horse breeder.

They are able to recreate horses that may have died several years ago.

The process may seem long and complicated but when you break it down, you're able to understand that a clone is born like any other.

"Once the embryo is produced, then it is frozen here to be transplanted into a recipient mare at a later time," says Jason Abraham, horse breeder.

Producing more of the elite horses has the potential to save thousands from euthanization a year.

"It allows us to breed away from genetic diseases. We have many genetic diseases and they're not just in horses, we have them in cattle," says Gregg Veneklasen, veterinarian, Timber Creek Veterinary Hospital.

It can also be used to save endangered animals or bring back those that are already extinct.

This is just the beginning for them, they have several plans that will not only continue helping the horse industry but could change the way we live.

"We'll be able to fix parts of our own heart, we'll be able to fix livers, we'll be able to fix pancreases and all this technology will help us have a much better life," says Gregg Veneklasen, veterinarian, Timber Creek Veterinary Hospital.

Something they know will be hard, but possible.

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