Cloning pets: Many pet owners are open to it

Representative study by DA Direkt in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Andrea Beetz, psychologist and human-animal relationship researcher.

Frankfurt. Some people dream of eternal life not only for themselves, but increasingly also for their pets. 12 percent of pet owners in Germany now think it is a good idea to create a genetic twin of their deceased pet. This is the result of the current human-pet study by the direct insurer DA Direkt. While 73 percent of pet owners reject the procedure, 15 percent are undecided.

This attitude represents the growing importance of animal companions for many people. For nine out of ten pet owners, they are part of the family and over half of (56%) say that they give their lives meaning. Almost as many pet owners surveyed believe that animals are increasingly serving as a substitute for the family (55%).

Cloning of pets is prohibited in Germany
Commercial cloning of animals is not permitted in Germany. It is considered animal testing and, according to the Animal Welfare Act, may only be carried out for certain purposes such as research and only with official approval. According to the German Animal Welfare Association, hormone administration and sometimes difficult births often lead to serious complications in both foster and cloned animals. “For ethical reasons and also from our point of view as a pet health insurer, we firmly reject the cloning of pets. Such serious interventions are not compatible with animal welfare,” says Christian Brodhun, an expert for pet health insurance at DA Direkt. This negative attitude is also shared by the vast majority of respondents.

The external similarity of a cloned animal to its deceased genetic twin can also lead to disappointment. This is because the new animal is shaped by the current social environment and not by the experiences of the old animal many years ago. In other words: even if the animals look identical, their characters can be completely different. “It doesn't do the new animal justice if I always compare it to the old animal and have certain expectations,” says Prof. Dr. Andrea Beetz, psychologist and human-animal relationship researcher.

Instead of cloning your deceased pet, Andrea Beetz recommends allowing the grieving process to take place: “In life, we are always confronted with loss and change. The loss of a pet is an opportunity, especially for children, to come to terms with this fact and learn how to cope with it.”

About the Human-Pet Study by DA Direkt
On behalf of DA Direkt, the market research company infas quo surveyed 2,105 people aged 18 to 79 years, representatively by gender and federal state. The survey was conducted in March 2024 via panel-based online interviews (CAWI) carried out.

Graphics: © DA Direkt