DTN reports that the 2010 Iowa grand champion steer was a clone of the animal that won the same event in 2008. The crossbred steer was shown by Tyler Faber of Sioux Center, Iowa. According to the DTN report, Faber’s father, David Faber, is president of Trans Ova, a livestock production company in Sioux Center. The cloned steer was produced by Bovance, a joint venture between Trans Ova and the cloning firm ViaGen.
Iowa 4-H livestock superintendent Mike Anderson says show officials found out the animal was cloned on Friday, after the steer had won the grand champion award two days earlier. Anderson says 4-H has no rule preventing clones from being shown—and he doesn’t think 4-H would create a rule on cloning because there’s no way for them to determine whether an animal is a clone.
According to the DTN report, livestock shows have not addressed issues with cloned cattle or hogs, but the status of clones is an issue in the horse industry. Thoroughbred and quarter horse racing associations have bans on cloned animals.
By the way, the joint venture firm, Bovance, also paid the record 45-thousand dollar winning auction bid at the Iowa State Fair’s sale of champions to ensure the company would get to keep the cloned steer. A Bovance spokesman said the company bought the steer to keep in place the voluntary industry measure against meat from cloned animals going into the food supply for the general public.