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Kathleen A. Carey (Cummings School, DVM class of 2016), Alexa Ortiz (Cummings School, DVM class of 2017), Kayla Grams, Dan Elkins, John W. Turner Jr and Allen T. Rutberg (Director, Center for Animals and Public Policy)

Published: December 9, 2019
Wildlife Research 46(8) 713-718

Context: Federally protected wild horses on public lands are undergoing population growth that overwhelms the historical management strategy of removal and adoption. Porcine zona pellucida (PZP) has been used as an injectable immunocontraceptive vaccine to induce reversible infertility in free-roaming horses. PZP vaccination during February and March, which is the optimal time for administering current vaccines, is not possible for the herd on Jarita Mesa Wild Horse Territory (JM WHT), New Mexico, due to severe weather, terrain and subject wariness.

Aims: The first goal was to assess bait trapping and remote darting as a minimally disruptive alternative to helicopter gathers for treatment. The second goal was to quantify the efficacy over 2 years following spring treatment with a single injection of PZP-22 (a combination of PZP-adjuvant emulsion and controlled-release pellets) by remote dart delivery.
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