Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Texas A&M testing oral contraceptives for animals

21.02.2008
If you’re a land owner and animals such as coyotes or wild pigs are driving you hog wild, help may soon be on the way to control their numbers in a humane way – in the form of a birth control pill for animals being developed at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. The concept would be to get it to wild animals through baited food, researchers say.

Researchers are testing oral contraceptives – used in much the same way as in humans – and the results are promising, says Duane Kraemer, a professor in veterinary physiology and pharmacology and a world leader in embryo transfer who has been involved in cloning four different species in recent years.

Kraemer, one of the pill’s creators, and other members of the research team are testing the contraceptive for use on wild animals, but the applications could most likely be used in pets, he believes.

“No one method will be useful in all situations,” he stresses.

“This approach inhibits maturation of the egg and therefore prevents fertilization. The animals continue to cycle, so it will not yet be ideal for many pet owners. But there is an advantage for use in wild and feral animals.”

Kraemer says the research team has recently started tests on domestic models for predators – animals such as feral pigs and cougars – but if successful, it could be used on a wide variety of animals, including dogs and cats, he explains. The team also has submitted grant applications for similar projects on coyotes and deer.

“A spinoff of this contraceptive could probably be used on many different species,” he adds.

The $90,000 project is being funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and private donations.

The pill works by inhibiting the maturation of the egg, not the entire cycle, Kraemer says. The technical name for the drug is called a phosphodiesterase 3 inhibitor, and it is one member of a family of drugs being tested.

Similar compounds have been tested in laboratories elsewhere in mice and monkeys, and similar results have been obtained by in vitro (in laboratory) methods in cattle and humans.

The compound can be mixed with animal feed and must be eaten daily during the critical time. It may also be encapsulated to decrease the frequency it has to be consumed, Kraemer says.

“We believe we are the first to test this compound for this specific purpose,” Kraemer notes. “We’re trying new uses for this previously approved compound.”

When perfected, the pill could eventually be used as an oral contraceptive for pets, but that may be a bit in the future, Kraemer says. In dogs, for example, the ovulation process is especially complex, but researchers are confident such a birth control pill can one day be successfully developed.

The need is apparent: According to the American Humane Society, about 7 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year at animal shelters. One female cat can lead to the production of 420,000 offspring in her lifetime.

In Texas, feral hogs have become a severe nuisance to farmers and ranchers, and the state has an estimated 3-4 million feral hogs, by far the most in the country. Deer are also becoming a problem to more communities each year because of overpopulation of deer herds.

Other species such as coyotes and even wild horses also need sufficient management control, experts note.

“The need for such an animal contraceptive is certainly there,” Kraemer adds.

“We are confident we can develop this pill in the not too distant future, but we still have plenty of tests to complete. It’s an exciting and much-needed project, but more funds will be needed, especially since deer and wild pigs are consumed by humans. One of the more interesting challenges will be to develop methods for feeding it to the target animals without affecting other species.”

Keith Randall | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.tamu.edu

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Energy crop production on conservation lands may not boost greenhouse gases
13.03.2017 | Penn State

nachricht How nature creates forest diversity
07.03.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>