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Deer Population Control Using Contraception

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  • Pat Scala
    Letter to Anna from Mark HiAnna, I understand that interest in controlling deer populations using contraception is high in some parts of New Jersey, and it is
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31, 2007
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      Letter to Anna from Mark





      HiAnna,



      I understand that interest in controlling deer populations using
      contraception is high in some parts of New Jersey, and it is very important
      that people understand the requirements for success.



      First, the contraceptive method must be highly effective and long-lasting
      with a single dose. Efficacy must remain high for 5 or more years without
      boosting.The cost of capturing deer is high - $300 - 500 / deer on average,
      even under favorable conditions. While delivering boosters using darts may
      be somewhat less expensive, it still does cost time and money, and there are
      significant technical challenges (e.g., how do you know how many deer have
      to be boosted?).



      Second, the treatment should be safe for the treated animals. It should be
      safe for the treated individuals, and there should be no adverse effects on
      the social organization and behavior of treated animals. pZP vaccines have
      been studied for >20 years in several species (e.g., deer, horses,
      elephants) and no significant adverse effects are known. pZP vaccines have
      also been used extensively with zoo animals. SpayVac has been used safely in
      hundreds of animals.



      The only contraceptive agent that has been proven to meet the performance
      criteria is SpayVac, a pZP immunocontraceptive vaccine. As concluded by
      Killian et al. (2006): "...the only formulation of single-shot PZP vaccine
      that appears to consistently produce a high degree of contraception lasting
      multiple years is SpayVac."



      [As you may be aware, there is one "blemish" on SpayVac's record: A few
      years ago, the pZP used in SpayVac was exposed to 85 degrees C (185 F),
      rather than the usual 75 degrees C (167 F). The pZP exposed to the higher
      heat treatment lost effectiveness. Subsequent batches of SpayVac, treated at
      75 degrees C, have been highly effective.]



      Please feel free to give me a call if you have any questions. I have also
      attached the abstract of a paper that I will deliver at the 6th
      International Conference on Fertility Control for Wildlife, which will be
      held in York, England, in early September.



      All the best,

      Mark


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