Six cloned dogs welcomed to Beijing police force

The Beijing police force welcomed six cloned dogs to its ranks on Wednesday, an effort by the authorities to pass on the genes of previous police pups to a new generation of K-9 officers.

In a ceremony at the Police Dog Base of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Public Security, trainers put badges, collars and uniforms on the dogs to mark their entry into law enforcement, according to the state-owned newspaper, China Daily.

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Authorities began engaging with firms earlier this year to produce the cloned dogs using skin samples from two animals. The puppies were born in August.

A K-9 police dog arrives at a crime scene with his handler. Six cloned police dogs were welcomed to the Beijing police force Wednesday. 

A K-9 police dog arrives at a crime scene with his handler. Six cloned police dogs were welcomed to the Beijing police force Wednesday.  (iStock)

Four of them came from the same litter and their DNA is more than 99 percent identical to the donor dogs, officials told the paper.

Ma Jinlei, a police officer who trains the dogs, told the paper the effort has been a priority for authorities. He said the dogs exhibit the same abilities as six-month-old non-cloned police dogs in terms of memory, courage and aggression.

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Chinese authorities have turned to cloning to cut down on training time and the cost associated with police dogs. Training police dogs in China typically takes five years and costs around $75,000.

Kunxun, China's first cloned police dog, was cloned from a 7-year-old sniffer dog named Huahuangma, who was recognized in 2016 by China’s Ministry of Public Security for her contributions to murder investigations