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An artist has egg fertilised by pet dog for art project

At what point does this constitute animal abuse?

By Holly Royce

Slovenian artist, Maja Smrekar is working on a series to celebrate the bond between humans and dogs. As part of her work, she had her eggs artificially fertilised with cells from her pet dog.

Yep, really - get ready to put all of your beliefs about animal rights and ethics on the line.

The series comes together under the name of K-9 topology. As well as the whole egg fertilising thing, Maja Smrekar bonded some of her hormones with her dogs to create a new type fragrance named, “I HUNT NATURE AND CULTURE HUNTS ME - oh and she also apparently breastfed a sheepdog to explore "the social and ideological instrumentalization of the female body and breastfeeding".

Her project is being well-received by the art community. She won the Prix Ars Electronica (AEC) 2017 in Hybrid Art - Golden Nica for K-9 topology.

The AEC website explains that an ovum provided by the artist was extracted and "used as a host for a somatic cell of her dog."

A somatic cell is non-sexual, so the dog's sperm was no used in the project.

In order to "breastfeed a dog", Maja Smrekar had to stick to a "lactation-enhancing diet" and regularly pump fluid from her breasts.

The artist's bio explains she has involved in dog behaviour studies for the last five years.

"In her work she has been dwelling on two main topics: the parallel evolution within a relationship wolf-human – dog on one, and the Sixth big species extinction on the other side.

She has won numerous awards for her work.

Despite that and the fact the egg was never going to create life, we need to ask ourselves, at what point does this constitute animal abuse?