Vietnam has cloned the endangered Vietnamese pot-bellied pig by using an innovative somatic cell cloning method. Vietnam’s Institute of Animal Sciences and Ministry of Agriculture cloned four baby Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs by using somatic cells derived from ear tissues.
Head of the animal sciences institute Pham Cong Thieu said the “birth” of the baby pigs was a technological leap for Vietnam in animal cloning.
“The achievement has opened up new research paths for applying animal cloning technologies in choosing and preserving animal breeds that are very rare or have big economic value,” he said. The Vietnamese pot-bellied pig is a traditional domestic breed that is native to northern Vietnam and is reared for meat.
With their characteristic black and wrinkled skin, they are native to northern Vietnam. Though it is not considered to bring in high economic value, the breed’s meat is regarded to be of high quality.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations has classified the pig as an endangered breed.