PZP discussion and information

Fish Creek Mares Indian Lakes aka Broken Arrow 2015

Rebuttal of Misinformation Posted by Pro-PZP Entities
Issue # 1. Criticism of devoted scientists and advocates

Discussion: Sometimes the truth hurts, and sometimes the only way to wake misguided people out of their imaginations is to speak in the strongest of terms.
Issue # 2. Self-regulating herds.

Discussion: The pro-PZP groups parrot the BLM line that there is an insufficient number of large predators to effectively control wild horse populations. But what happened to the predators? They have been virtually exterminated due to excessive hunting by sportsmen and excessive culling by Wildlife Services, which kills on behalf of public lands ranchers. Instead of joining with conservation organizations and animal protection groups that are fighting for the predators, the PZP adherents want us to accept defeat. We won’t. We believe in a thriving natural ecological balance, which must include predators, large and small.
Issue # 3. Impact on genetics and social structure.

Discussion: The pro-PZP groups say it is too late, that the herds have already been genetically and socially disrupted by decades of roundups, removals, and relocations. Their solution? PZP. Thus, we are essentially being told that underpopulated herds suffering from genetic decline should have their numbers further reduced and their mares eventually rendered sterile. We say, “Absolutely not.” The answer is to fight for the herds, for viable populations, for genetic diversity, for normal behavior, for natural fertility.
Issue # 4. Economics.

Discussion: Pro-PZP groups want us to accept BLM’s mismanagement as a fact and learn to live with it. They say we should let wild fillies and mares be slowly sterilized. Using PZP will, “over time” reduce removals, they claim. If only that were so. A review of BLM’s population estimates for herds scheduled for gathers this year showed case after case of dizzingly inflated numbers, even for years in which PZP would have been at maximum effect. BLM is not a trusted partner! BLM is using PZP to accelerate the demise of the herds, combining slow sterilization with massive removals on any pretext. The pro-PZP groups are unwittingly playing into BLM’s nefarious schemes to wipe out the wild horses and burros.
Issue # 5. Whether PZP is a pesticide.

Discussion: The EPA classifies PZP as a pesticide for use on non-food animal pests. It exerts a contraceptive effect by inflamming the ovaries, causing ovarian dystrophy, destroying oocytes in growing follicles, and depleting resting follicles. The EPA warns that PZP is a biohazard are advises women that accidental injection could cause infertility. The EPA cautions pregnant women to avoid handling PZP, despite PZP’s supposed non-interference with a pregnancy in progress. Thus, the possibility is raised of harm to an unborn child by exposure to PZP in the womb.
Anne-Marie Pinter” The crux of this is; multiple attacks on the immune system; stress then a stimulant…..then you have the makings of “Autoimmune disease” as it is termed in today scientific world; “Autoimmune diseases are due to an overacting immune system, that starts attacking their own body”
Issue # 6. Whether PZP-22 is the best answer, if fertility control is to be used.

Discussion: No. PZP-22 has the same adverse-effects profile, except it is longer acting. Once “native” PZP opened the door to artificial population control, BLM looked for ways to make it last longer so they would have less work to do. Thus, one-year PZP is often rejected as “not feasible” and “not practical”. For the most part, BLM wants to keep holding helicopter roundups on a rotating basis every four years, as they’ve been doing. In BLM’s ideal world, they would continue conducting helicopter gathers to catch and corral the mares, shoot them up with “PZP-48”, remove most of the herd anyway based on exaggerated population estimates, and then retire to their offices to sit back for another four years.
Issue # 7. Whether “native” PZP is a sterilant.

Discussion: Ultimately, yes. But if a filly or mare has a strong immune system, even the first immuno-vaccination could provoke such a powerful immune response that she would immediately be rendered permanently sterile. With multiple consecutive injections, sterility is pretty much a certainty. Exceptions would be mares with a weak or depressed immune system, which would not respond to the PZP. That’s why some mares get pregnant in spite of PZP, and why PZP inadvertently selects for immumo-compromised horses. Over time, herd health would suffer and the population could be wiped out by an inability to fight off disease.
Issue # 8. Whether PZP is a chemical contraceptive and whether it poses a significant risk to inoculated mares and their foals.

Discussion: PZP is a chemical, classified by the EPA as a pesticide, approved for use against “feral” horses deemed to be pests. Let it be understood that our wild horses are Federal, not feral. PZP works to provoke an immune response that has been shown to target the ovaries, causing inflammation and dystrophy. PZP destroys oocytes in growing follicles and depletion of resting follicles. So, yes, it does pose a significant risk to mares injected with such a powerful and destructive “vaccine.” Because pregnant women are strictly warned against handling PZP, even though PZP is said not to interfere with a pregnancy already in existence, the possibility of ovarian or testicular degeneration in the developing embryo or fetus is of concern. Therefore, a pregnant mare’s unborn foal could potentially be affected. The cautionary principle would call for rejection, not injection, of such a substance.
http://www.publish.csiro.au/?paper=R96054
Issue # 9. Whether PZP causes ovarian damage and other pathologies.

Discussion: Yes, it does. The pro-PZP groups endeavor to differentiate “native” PZP from other PZP formulations and claim that “native” PZP works completely differently from the rest of the PZPs and ZPs. Not so. Recent studies have disproven the theory that ZPs block fertilization. Instead, ZP vaccines cause ovarian dystrophy, oophoritis (inflammation of the ovaries), destruction of oocytes in all growing follicles, and depletion of resting follicles. That is why, regardless of PZP type, it takes years for fertility to be restored (if ever) and why eventual sterilization occurs with certainty after multiple inoculations. Kirkpatrick, Liu, Turner, et al. (1992) found that ” … three consecutive years of PZP treatment may interfere with normal ovarian function as shown by markedly depressed oestrogen secretion.”

http://www.pubfacts.com/detail/1317449/Long-term-effects-of-porcine-zonae-pellucidae-immunocontraception-on-ovarian-function-in-feral-horse

Certainly ovarian damage should have been suspected 23 years ago and investigated, in light of “markedly depressed oestrogen secretion” in PZP-treated mares. Yet despite the developer’s own finding in 1992 that PZP appeared to “interfere with normal ovarian function,” the product was promoted as a safe vaccine that merely blocked fertilization. Recent independent studies, based on examining the reproductive organs of sacrificed experimental animals [note: whether they were “sacrificed” to determine the organ-damage has to be verified], revealed the ovarian destruction, clearly disproving the previous assumption.
Issue # 10. Whether PZP is paving the way for use in humans.

Discussion: No, it’s not. Interesting choice of argument that PZP’s 95 percent efficacy rate would be too low for human contraception. Compare PZP’s rate with that of birth control pills, which are only 91 percent effective unless perfect compliance is achieved, no conflicting medications are taken, and no conflicting health issues are present. And compare PZP’s efficacy rate to that of condoms. With typical use, 85 percent of women relying on prophylactics worn by their partners successfully prevent pregnancy. Interesting choice of argument also in comparing PZP to the influenza vaccine, whose efficacy is reportedly in the 10-60 percent range.

http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/news/20150115/flu-vaccine-effectiveness
Issue #11: Whether 150 is the lowest viable population of a wild horse herd to be genetically healthy.

Discussion: The International Union for Conservation of Nature has determined that 2,500 is the minimun viable population for a wild horse herd. A recent meta-analysis suggested that number should be doubled. Interestingly, the Pryor Mountain herd, which the pro-PZP groups cited, is in genetic decline, according to the most recent report from Dr. Cothran. His recommendation? Increase the size of the herd.
Issue #12: Whether or not the NAS recommended fertility control in Federal wild horse herds.

Discussion: The NAS researchers were prohibited by BLM from collecting their own data. They were required to base their recommendations on BLM’s wild horse population estimates, which are exaggerated by more than double. So, it was to be expected that NAS would recommend fertility control. What else could they be expected to do?

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The Example of Assateague Island National Seashore
Examining PZP through the eyes of the Assateague horses themselves:

Horses have not been handled.

Reply: Right. They are shot with a dart gun, so human hands do not touch them, although the PZP causes their ovaries to become inflamed.

Mortality rates have declined significantly, especially among foals.

Reply: Nature operates by survival of the fittest, which means those that are not fit, perish. Reduced mortality may not correlate with a herd being self-sustaining because most of the herd is not reproducing.

Body condition scores have improved.

Reply: Mares in good or improving body condition have a hugely increased tendency to produce colts. This could lead to a gender imbalance. Having too many colts negatively impacts the genetic diversity of a herd.

Longevity has increased dramatically, with mares living three times longer than pre-PZP.

Reply: Longevity, combined with sterility, reduces a herd’s viability in both the short-term and the long-term. Here’s the analogy. On average, American women live about 75 years. If PZP caused them to live three times longer, for 225 years, would that be a good thing if none were allowed to have more than one child?
Discussion: Let’s take a look at another East Coast wild horse herd being managed on “native” PZP: Corolla. The low population limits imposed on that herd have led to birth defects. To increase gene pool diversity, a stallion from the Curritick herd, 150 miles south of Corolla, was translocated. However, he may never win a band and, besides, the mares are contracepted, which makes his job more difficult.

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Issue #13: Whether PZP inoculations can introduce pathogens, and whether administering PZP will cause laminitis, resulting in horses’ hooves to fall apart.

Discussion: This is a two-part issue. As for the first part, yes, it is possible for any inoculation, including PZP, to introduce pathogens. However, the second part appears to be a straw man story invented by pro-PZP parties and falsely attributed to PZP’s critics.
Issue #14: Whether PZP-mares stay in perpetual estrus, causing unrest in the herd.

Discussion: The incorrect word above is “perpetual.” Studies have found that mares on PZP have more estrus events and cycle beyond the normal breeding season. Mares in estrus give off pheromones [note: verify this], which are attractants for stallions. With more estrus events occurring in his mares, the band stallion will likely experience more challenges to his leadership. Yes, foals can get hurt when stallions do battle. A recent study by Ransom et al. showed that herds managed by PZP have a breeding season of 341 days. So, by “perpetual” we mean nearly year-round: 365 days minus 24 days.
Issue #15: Whether pharmaceutical companies are involved with the Assateague Herd project and other native PZP projects.

Discussion: This appears to be a straw man accusation. Pharmaceutical companies have no interest in PZP in any of its various iterations because of the long time it takes to restore fertility (four to eight years), the risk of irreversible sterility, and as has been pointed out, the prospect of settling bad-drug lawsuits.
Issue #16: Predation is the only viable ecological solution.

Discussion: To have a thriving, natural ecological balance (TNEB), an ecosystem must have predators.
Issue #17: The allegation that anti-PZP groups claim PZP, specifically “native” PZP, is patented.

Response: This appears to be another straw man accusation. ZonaStat-H is a proprietary product registered with the EPA by the Humane Society of the United States. It is possible that some persons confused “proprietary” with “patented.” Merck originally held the patent but let it lapse due to the adverse effects listed herein.
Issue #18: Some organizations appear to support perpetuating the problem or creating a new problem.

Response: If your income or your funding depends on there being a problem, you will do things that keep that problem going or create new problems to take its place. Once PZP has sterilized one herd after another, and once BLM zeroes out such HMAs, then these groups will surely take up a new rallying cry: Recreate the herds! They’ll say that no one knows why the herds are dying out (yes, you do; it was the PZP), but let’s sign petitions to bring in substitute horses to reinvent such and such herds. Of course the original herd and its unique genetics will be lost forever, but now these groups will have a new life with a new cause.
Issue #19: BLM is not managing wild horse HMAs according to the Law.

Response: The clear intent of the Act was that mustangs would benefit from the principal use of their dedicated range and its resources. Yet, within 98 percent of their legally designated habitats, wild horses and burros are relegated to a minority share of the forage.
Issue #20: Wild horse sanctuaries are pale imitations of real wild horse herds.

Response: The Law provides for eco-sanctuaries. They are called HMAs. The need for private sanctuaries is due to BLM’s mismanagement, to inadequate AMLs, to removals in numbers that deluge the adoption market.

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© Protect Mustangs, May 17, 2015

11 thoughts on “PZP discussion and information

  1. Then of course, there are the thousands of dollars in grant money. Can’t turn that down! These people gave up on the horses long ago. AWHPC was never in it for the horses to begin with in my oppinion. Just like the BLM wild horse destroyers, it’s all about the money. All are a disgrace to this nation.

  2. Our Mustangs are in a hell of a dilemma as we advocates know all to well. The BLM is going to continue to raise the death toll with the aftermath of round up strategy. Since we can’t convince them to work with us in protecting our National Heritage and stop this genocide, what can you propose to stop the slaughter other than minimizing numbers while in the wild..??? Yours truly
    El

  3. This is an excellent, informative, factual rebuttal to the PZP information recently posted by pro PZP promoters. If the BLM continues to roundup and treat our wild horse herds, given time the wild horses on the range will no longer exist. The use of PZP by the BLM is unconscionable.

  4. You are throwing a smokscreen overthe real culprit of this! IT IS NOT.THE.OVERBREEDING OF.MUSTANGS! Just.how stupid.do you politicians.think.iI or.others are. Take.your PZP and whatever.other fancy.name drug.you.have and.throw.it.awsy. That is another.way of.making.money and.making horses suffer. I am so damned sick of you people, that.I would dart.you with PZP. It is always the greed for.the cattle! There.is a stinking lot of them fouling.up our country and.yoj.use the horsebas a scapegoats. I wish to God.you would dart.ypur.stinking selves with PZP! Respectfully, Karl Harry Rosenberg

  5. What we have run across with Mr. Kirkpatrick, and his hanging around long-enough for consideration-of-legitimacy (when compared to provable and factual research and appropriate data gathering showing legitimate results, which BTW do not exist) we discover he has consistently lied, through many articles, about the situation in North Caroline, just by simply speaking with people in that area.

    Similar circumstances, due to lack of information, appropriate data gathering and quantification of results thereby, compared with results today of many given observations also contradict Mr. Kirkpatrick and his research and the use of PZP. Perhaps it is time for Mr. Kirkpatrick to start proving some of the items in his technical reports, or White Papers, rather than just state they were published (and false affirmation of Peer Reviews, only from friends and others with vented interests) and start showing long-term results rather than just stating, sure, the animals still alive.

    The fact is Dynamics of Horse Herds and legitimate concerns in regard to survival of Wild Horses are of Paramount interest, and we need confirmation from this supposed scientific researcher that his credentials, in appropriate data gathering and history of PZP — are legitimate!

    And that is simply provable by showing everyone the Long-Term History of each event, the ongoing health reports of animals given the pesticide PZP (i.e. not a vaccine as he would like us to believe, and in accord with factual representation and categorical listing of the pesticide PZP by those who qualify such), and the continued health, through time and history, that the PZP indeed worked — we do not have that information currently — too many gaps need filling — too many questions exist —

    Mr. Kirkpatrick’s Rhetoric and name-calling of those questioning his research, is not currently answering the legitimate questions posed to the PZP situation. . .

  6. This means the extinction of the American Wild Horse , it means removing the Wild Horses without rounding them up , it means doing the job and the BLM mission which is destroying the Wild Horses on the public lands in a way that it won’t get the public attention so silently destroying what has been left which is actually nothing (We all know Over Population is a big joke).

  7. here is the most concise view of my position which I just posted on I Oppose Horse Slaughter :since the BLM seems determined to manage our wild horses to extinction, rather in the manner that an invading country sometimes plots the genocide of other peoples, the first step would have been never to repeat any lie that would give them a pretext for invasion. And that lie was that wild horses were overpopulating. Once that was repeated by saying that PZP was needed for population control, the damage was done.

  8. ALL ADVOCATES MUST focus on BLM mismanagement of our wild horses & burros. #19 BLM is not managing wild horse HMAs according to the law – is spot on. We need to put aside our differences and focus on the things that we do agree on – removing the livestock, increasing HMLs and stopping the roundups.

    I agree that the clear intent of the WHBA was for mustangs to be the primary inhabitants on their dedicated ranges habitats and to be protected from harassment.

    However, amendments to the WHBA allowed wild horses and burros to be rounded up by motorized vehicles, including helicopters, and allowed them to be sold without limitation or regard. Additionally, the BLM has horses in holding that are not being humanely cared for (no shelters, deaths due to gelding procedures performed by non-veterinarians, etc.), which is in clear violation of Federal Law 43CFR §4700.0-2. Sections of 43CFR4700 are pasted below and we should be seeking to have these Federal Laws upheld.

    Please sign this petition to Congress (emails will go to your own legislators) and the President to restore the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act by repealing amendments that have allowed thousands of our wild horses to be inhumanely rounded up by helicopters, sold without limitation and shipped to slaughter. http://www.petition2congress.com/17650/repeal-burns-amendment-restore-wild-free-roaming-horses-burros-ac/

    43CFR
    §4700.0-2 Objectives.
    The objectives of these regulations are management of wild horses and burros as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands under the principle of multiple use; protection of wild horses and burros from unauthorized capture, branding, harassment or death; and humane care and treatment of wild horses and burros.

    §4710.2 Inventory and monitoring.
    The authorized officer shall maintain a record of the herd areas that existed in 1971, and a current inventory of the numbers of animals and their areas of use. When herd management areas are established, the authorized officer shall also inventory and monitor herd and habitat characteristics.

    §4710.3-1 Herd management areas.
    Herd management areas shall be established for the maintenance of wild horse and burro herds. In delineating each herd management area, the authorized officer shall consider the appropriate management level for the herd, the habitat requirements of the animals, the relationships with other uses of the public and adjacent private lands, and the constraints contained in §4710.4. The authorized officer shall prepare a herd management area plan, which may cover one or more herd management areas.

    §4710.3-2 Wild horse and burro ranges.
    Herd management areas may also be designated as wild horse or burro ranges to be managed principally, but not necessarily exclusively, for wild horse or burro herds.

    §4710.5 Closure to livestock grazing.
    (a) If necessary to provide habitat for wild horses or burros, to implement herd management actions, or to protect wild horses or burros, to implement herd management actions, or to protect wild horses or burros from disease, harassment or injury, the authorized officer may close appropriate areas of the public lands to grazing use by all or a particular kind of livestock.

    (b) All public lands inhabited by wild horses or burros shall be closed to grazing under permit or lease by domestic horses and burros.

    (c) Closure may be temporary or permanent. After appropriate public consultation, a Notice of Closure shall be issued to affected and interested parties.

  9. Thank you Protect Mustangs for getting the facts out about the use of PZP in our Federally-protected wild horses and burros. These are all excellent reasons (and so many of them) to avoid using PZP. Thank you again.

  10. Re: “The EPA classifies PZP as a pesticide for use on non-food animal pests. It exerts a contraceptive effect by inflamming the ovaries, causing ovarian dystrophy, destroying oocytes in growing follicles, and depleting resting follicles. The EPA warns that PZP is a biohazard are advises women that accidental injection could cause infertility. The EPA cautions pregnant women to avoid handling PZP, despite PZP’s supposed non-interference with a pregnancy in progress. Thus, the possibility is raised of harm to an unborn child by exposure to PZP in the womb.
    Anne-Marie Pinter” The crux of this is; multiple attacks on the immune system; stress then a stimulant…..then you have the makings of “Autoimmune disease” as it is termed in today scientific world; “Autoimmune diseases are due to an overacting immune system, that starts attacking their own body”

    Could someone please link me to the statement by the EPA that PZP is a pesticide, as well as the statement that “destroying oocytes in growing follicles.” Also, Regumate and even birth control pills are biohazards, as are antibiotics. Who is Anne-Marie Pinter? And why is a vaccine considered an attack on the immune system? Or does the author consider any vaccination of animals to be an attack on the immune system? Is there any literature (not blogs or opinion statements) on PZP creating an overactive immune system?

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