What is PZP (ZonaStat-H) and How Does It Work?
Updates 2/17/12: Environmental Protection Agency Announces First Fertility Control Vaccine Approved for Wild Horses in the United States
From The Science and Conservation Center & Wildlife Fertility Control http://www.pzpinfo.org/pzp.html
PZP Is A non-cellular membrane known as the zona pellucida (ZP) surrounds all mammalian eggs. The ZP consists of several glycoproteins (proteins with some carbohydrate attached), one of which, ZP3, is thought to be the sperm receptor (the molecule which permits attachment of the sperm to the egg during the process of fertilization). The PZP vaccine is derived from pig eggs. When this vaccine is injected into the muscle of the target female animal, it stimulates her immune system to produce antibodies against the vaccine. These antibodies also attach to the sperm receptors on the ZP of her own eggs and distort their shape, thereby blocking fertilization (see Paterson and Aitkin 1990).
Thus far PZP has been a promising form of contraception in wildlife because
1. it has prevented pregnancy an average of 90% of the time in treated animals
2. it can be delivered remotely by small darts
3. the contraceptive effects are reversible
4. it is effective across many species
5. there are no debilitating health side-effects even after long-term use
6. it has almost no effects on social behaviors
7. the vaccine cannot pass through the food chain
8. it is safe to give to pregnant animals (see Kirkpatrick et al. 1996b).
Why PZP the mares from RVHR?
RVHR has a no breeding policy for all mares which are in our program PZP will help us enforce our policy.
What Mares are given PZP by RVHR?
At this time only RVHR mares under the age of 20 are started on PZP prior to being placed. Each mare will continue to receive PZP for 5 consecutive years.
Who at RVHR is handling giving PZP to the mares?
Patricia Muncy will be administering the PZP Vaccinations, she was certified by Jay F. Kirkpatrick Director at The Science and Conservation Center ZooMontata in “Remote Delivery of PZP Immunocontraception in Wildlife” on June 30th, 2011.
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