Spain shows off its first cloned fighting bull

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The Independent Online

A little black calf with spindly legs has added a high-tech twist to the traditional world of Spanish bullfighting. Got, the country's first cloned fighting bull, was born this week, weighing in at 25kg, in the northern province of Palencia. His late father, Vasito, was a pedigree stud from Andalucia and his surrogate mother was a Swiss Holstein milk cow.

A team of scientists from the Valencia Foundation for Veterinary Research and the Prince Felipe Research Centre toiled for three years to achieve this test-tube feat, beating a rival bid to clone a prized Spanish stud in the US. "He's spectacular, healthy, black like a carbon mine and a perfect photocopy," lead researcher Vicente Torrent said as Got made his societal debut yesterday. Scientists say the objective of the experiment, which cost €28,000 (£24,000), is to perfect techniques that could be used to clone any endangered mammal.

Bullfighting enthusiasts are already speculating about the possibility of seeing clones of legendary fighting bulls in the ring. But animal rights activists are outraged at Got's arrival. "We express our deepest condemnation of this practice, for it leads to the genetic manipulation of a species, with the twisted objective of maintaining the falsehood that bulls are fighters by nature," a statement by AnimaNaturalis said.