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Fertility Control

Rescue No 250713 01Animal fertility control is used around the world to manage wild animal populations such as wild horses and deer.  This intelligent approach offers a publicly acceptable, common-sense approach to managing and responsibly reducing sustainable wildlife populations according to individual habitat.

Fertility control programs for wild horses in America have been successful in delivering desired population outcomes.  This non-lethal method of managing animal populations is an ethical alternative to brutal and indiscriminate shooting programs.  

Fertility drugs such as GonaCon are affordable and will effectively render both male and female animals infertile for 3 years or more.  Remote delivery via injectable marker dart provides the simplest method for trackable delivery - If you can find them to shoot them, you can find them to dart them.

Alphadog AnimalArmy Inc. specialises in remote delivery and chemical immobilisationl for non-lethal wildlife management.  A leading Tranquiliser Firearms & Chemical Immobilisation course is run weekly by charity Director and accredited instructor, Marcus Fillinger.

Alphadog AnimalArmy Inc. specifically advocates the implementation of fertility control programs for kangaroos as the ethical alternative to the continued cruel and costly culling of Australia's national icon.  Working directly with the ACT government to implement a kangaroo fertility control program in the Territory's Gungaderra reserve, we are at the forefront of progressive, non-lethal management solutions. 

Non-lethal solutions are the future of wildlife management in Australia and around the world.

GonaCon Fertility Control Drug for use in mammals: available for global distribution since 2013

The GonaCon-Equine vaccine stimulates the production of antibodies that bind to the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) in an animal’s body. GnRH signals the production of sex hormones (e.g., estrogen, progesterone and testosterone).  By binding to GnRH, the antibodies reduce GnRH’s ability to stimulate the release of these sex hormones. All sexual activity is decreased, and animals remain in a nonreproductive state as long as a sufficient level of antibody activity is present. The product can be delivered by hand injection, jab stick, or darting.  
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What the Experts say...

Veterinarian, Dr Marlcolm Ware:

“In this day and age of urban development encroaching on the natural habitat of our wildlife it seems inconceivable that the appropriate authorities would not consider management approaches that aid our wildlife rather than are detrimental to our wildlife.

The current policies aim at ‘culling’ to decrease the size of populations, or entirely remove a population from a natural habitat that is now designated for human development. Instead of these animals being ‘culled ‘, a politically correct word for killed, they could undergo a program of fertility control, or in extreme cases, relocation with fertility control.

Fertility control and sterilisation of these populations are two different techniques. Sterilisation involves these animals either being chemically treated or surgically treated so that they can never reproduce again. Fertility control is aimed at lowering sexual activity and the ability to reproduce for a selected period of time. When applicable these animals can be allowed to reproduce again and thus help maintain a healthy, and diverse, population.

Within Australia Fertility control is currently achieved via a Deslorelin implant. The problem is that this drug needs to physically implanted into the animal. In this case involving the Eastern Grey Kangaroo that means that each kangaroo needs to be darted with an anaesthetic, caught, and then an implant placed. This causes large issues with females with joeys at foot as a significant degree of separation and disruption of the population will occur. Also from a financial perspective more operators are involved and the process is more time consuming and therefore a lot more expensive.

A better alternative is Gonacon. This is a vaccine that produces a specific antibody that suppresses the production and release of sex hormones. This means that sexual activity decreases and the animal is in a non-reproductive state till the vaccine wears off and antibodies decrease. This product can be darted from a distance and requires no handling of the animal. A special marker dart can be used so all injected/ vaccinated animals will be readily identified.

In this way the size of a population can be controlled to maintain a viable population for a particular area, without the need for large scale culls. Similar processes occur in South Africa to control the breeding of wildlife there within Game reserves and sanctuaries.

Gonacon is readily available. It has been approved for use in the USA by the EPA. It has not yet been registered in Australia, yet wildlife trials have been run here.”

Malcolm Ware BVSc, CCRT
Alphadog AnimalArmy Inc. volunteer Veterinarian
The Vet Practice and Veterinary Integrative Medicine Centre