Outrage over groups asking BLM for alleged “humane fertility control” on underpopulated wild horses and burros

PM Hazard Foter Public domain Marked Sterilize
Below is a press release from the American Wild Horse PZP Campaign (AWHPC) claiming 10 million people want “humane fertility control”.
 
Questions:
 
1.) Why aren’t these alleged 10 million people disputing the BLM’s overpopulation myth?
 
2.) Why aren’t these alleged 10 million people standing up and fighting to give American wild horses & burros back the land that was already taken away from them? Yes land that was designated for them in 1971.
 
3.) How will BLM respond to their call for “humane fertility control“?
 
4.) Will BLM continue their proposed experiments in search of “humane fertility control”?
 
5.) Why push Pesticide PZP when it wrongfully designates Americas’s native wild horses and burros as “PESTS“?
 
6.) How will these 36+ groups deal with the effect of calling native wild horses and burros “PESTS” when the feds want to wipe out “invasive species“?
 
7.) Have the alleged 10 million people read the 2012 EPA Pesticide PZP application with all those sketchy exemptions: https://www3.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/pending/fs_PC-176603_01-Jan-12.pdf
 
8.) How do these groups and their members justify forcing America’s last wild mares to live without their freedom to live as nature intended? Isn’t this against the 1971 Law?
 
9.) Do these groups and their so called “members” understand that it’s cruel and unnatural for wild mares to be humped by studs every month they are in heat? Mares are sterile while on Pesticide PZP yet they still come into heat so the stallions try to breed them over and over.
 
10.) Do the groups and their members understand that “humane fertility control” has been experimented on federally protected wild horses now for decades? (PZP, GonaCon, SpayVac, Sterilization Surgeries, etc.)
 
11.) Why are they ignoring all the dangers related to Pesticide PZP that they call a vaccine for population control?
 
12.) Why are they telling their “members” that the Pesticide PZP (native, 22 or whatever) is without harm? Some are even telling people the Restricted Use Pesticide is “safe to drink”.
13.) Why are they ignoring the dangers listed in the Fact Sheet: The Truth about PZP (http://protectmustangs.org/?p=8749 )
 
14.) Have these 36 + groups revealed to the public and their “members” the real amount of miscarriages/spontaneous abortions and dead foals that are occurring in wild mares that have been forcibly drugged with Pesticide PZP?
 
15.) Which of these groups have received money from donations or grants from the pharmaceutical industry, the BLM, the registrant of PZP, etc?
 
16.) Why isn’t there any evidence of alleged overpopulation? After all the National Academy of Sciences stated in 2013 that there was “no evidence” of overpopulation, period.
 
17.) Have these groups pushing the BLM for “humane fertility control” now–without any proof of overpopulation–read the Free-Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971?
 
18.) Why aren’t these groups and their 10 Million members standing up to protect America’s wild horses and burros from being the scapegoat for range damage, wrongfully rounded up and removed from their legal place on public land? What ever happened to fighting for their freedom?
 
Bigger doesn’t mean better. The Coalition for Wild Horses and Burros will respond to this outrageous push for  alleged “humane fertility control” and Pesticide PZP on America’s underpopulated herds of wild horses and burros.
 
 
PM PZP Auto-immune disease
 
Press Release from AWHPC:
36+ wild horse advocacy groups press BLM for increased use of humane fertility control as alternative to costly roundups
 
PZP vaccine is best way to stave off BLM’s pending “billion-dollar” fiscal crisis
 
Washington DC (June 1, 2016) …Today, more than three dozen wild horse advocacy, rescue and humane organizations, representing more than 10 million citizens, stand united in calling on the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to make greater use of the humane fertility control vaccine PZP as a way to stave off its “billion-dollar” fiscal crisis caused by wild horse roundups in the American West.
 
The organizations contend that the PZP vaccine is a cost-effective alternative to costly roundups and removals of wild horses from the range.
 
The call for greater use of PZP comes on the heels of a recent admission by BLM Director Neil Kornze that the current system of roundups is failing. In fact, according to Kornze, the BLM’s policy of rounding up and removing, and stockpiling wild horses in holding facilities is leading up to a $1 billion crisis – the amount U.S. taxpayers will ultimately pay to warehouse thousands of wild horses for decades after the BLM has removed them from the range.
 
Already, 70 percent of the BLM’s $80 million Wild Horse and Burro Program budget is spent on roundups and removals, while less than 1 percent of that amount is spent on long available, humane and effective fertility control.
Pm PZP Darts
 
Groups supportive of the use of the PZP vaccine for humane wild horse management include the:
 
Alliance of Wild Horse Advocates
 
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
 
American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign
 
Animal Legal Defense Fund
 
Animals Voice
 
Animal Welfare Institute
 
Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary
 
Center for Animal Protection and Education
 
Citizens Against Equine Slaughter
 
The Cloud Foundation
 
Corolla Wild Horse Fund
 
Friends of a Legacy
 
Front Range Equine Rescue
 
Habitat for Horses
 
Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund
 
Horses for Life Foundation
 
Humane Society of the United States
 
Jicarilla Mustang Heritage Alliance
 
Least Resistance Training Concepts
 
Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue
 
Montgomery Creek Ranch
 
National Mustang Association, Colorado Chapter
 
Oregon Wild Horse & Burro Association
 
Photographers for the Preservation of Wild Horses and Burros
 
Pine Nut Wild Horse Advocates
 
Respect 4 Horses
 
Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary and Preservation
 
Salt River Wild Horse Management Group
 
Serengeti Foundation
 
Southern Sun Farm Sanctuary
 
Steadfast Steeds
 
Virginia Range Wildlife Protection Association
 
Wild Equid League (Colorado)
 
Wild Horses of America Foundation
 
Wild Horse Connection
 
Wild Horse Education
 
Wild Horse Observers Association
 
Wild Horse Preservation League
 
In the last seven years alone, BLM has removed more than 40,000 wild horses from public lands. The agency now stockpiles as many wild horses in captivity as remain free on the range.
 
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) recommended the use of PZP in its 2013 study “Using Science to Improve the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program,” stating it is “a more affordable option than continuing to remove horses to long-term holding facilities.”
 
The NAS study also noted that roundups and removals of wild horses are actually responsible for “facilitating high rates of population growth on the range.”
 
The NAS added that “removals are likely to keep the population at a size that maximizes population growth rates, which in turn maximizes the number of animals that must be removed through holding facilities.”
 
PZP is an immunocontraceptive vaccine. It works with a mare’s immune system to produce antibodies that block sperm receptor sites on the zona pellucida, a thin membrane surrounding the ovum.
 
Because it is non-hormonal, PZP does not:
 
· Affect the endocrine system or natural behavior of horses.
 
· Create negative health side effects.
 
· Enter the food chain or harm other wildlife.
 
The vaccine is reversible and is administered with a simple dart.
 
PZP has been used for more than 25 years in the wild horses on the Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland. In that time, the herd has been brought to more sustainable numbers and the overall health of horses as a result has improved substantially. In 1990, few horses on Assateague lived past 15 years.Now, many are living 30 years or more. And, because PZP is not permanent, the National Park Service managers can closely control the herd’s population, allowing for increased births as appropriate.
 
Management programs with PZP also have helped curtail and even end roundups in wild horse management areas in the West, such as the Pryor Mountains on the Montana/Wyoming border, McCullough Peaks in Wyoming and Spring Creek Basin and Little Book Cliffs in Colorado.
 
In Colorado’s Spring Creek Basin, no mustangs have been removed since 2011, thanks to a BLM-facilitated public/private partnership for humane management of this herd utilizing the PZP vaccine.
 
In addition, the BLM has committed to bait trapping if, in the future, the removal of some mustangs is necessary to maintain range health. Bait trapping is a far less traumatic capture method than helicopter roundups.
 
A PZP project on the McCullough Peaks range in Wyoming, meanwhile, helped the wild horse population there achieve zero population growth within three years.
 
Increased use of PZP and a reduction in roundups and removals would also be a boon to U.S. taxpayers, helping to curtail the $1 billion crisis created by the BLM.
 
The public now spends about $49,000 for each mustang that is removed from the range and not adopted. PZP, meanwhile, costs about $27 per darted horse per year.
 
One economic model published in the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine (Deseve, Boyles Griffin, 2011) demonstrated that BLM could save $8 million over 12 years by using PZP in one herd management area alone. Multiply that by 179 HMAs and the cost-savings reach the hundreds of millions.
 
Resources:
 
· Using Science to Improve the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program
 
· Q&A on PZP Fertility Control
 
· The Science and Conservation Center
 
· Myths and Facts: Native Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP)
 
· Information: Animal Fertility Control Vaccine
PZP = Slow Extinction
 

Protect Mustangs is an organization who protects and preserves native and wild horses.




Does PZP result in wild herds with lower immune systems and potential for die-offs?

PM Tule Elk Males FIghting by austlee

PZP is an immunocontraceptive and pesticide which causes an immune reaction to reject fertilization, while the females still come into estrus. Besides wrecking havoc on the immune system, injecting herds with PZP results in more fighting between males and many other behavior abnormalities.

Tule elk in Pt. Ryes National Seashore (Marin County, California) were part of a PZP (Porcine Zona Pellucida) experiment. Several years later there was a strange die-off.

Wildlife groups blamed park service management for leaving the elk fenced in during a drought–claiming that was the reason for the die-off.

Park service officials said the tule elk had water during the die-off.

“Some wildlife advocates have termed the situation a “die-off” and accuse the park service of allowing the elk to perish behind the fence that prevents them from finding enough food and water. Park service officials have a different view of what caused the population drop, and are hoping that new data will help address these concerns, especially as visitor interest peaks during the fall rutting season.” from: https://baynature.org/articles/on-the-fence/

Listen to Wildlife Ecologist Dave Press Discusses Tomales Point Elk and mention “there was water in the pond up there . . .” at 2:18.

 

It’s time to connect the dots and ask the obvious question: Did PZP lower the herds’ immune system and genetic diversity to the point of making them vulnerable to a die-off?

With suspect data regarding the long-term use of PZP on wild herds, more questions and answers are needed to prevent a similar die-off in America’s wild horses & burros.

With regards to wild horses, keep in mind what Marybeth Devlin wrote about PZP:

“PZP is a registered pesticide whose mechanism-of-action is to cause auto-immune disease. PZP tricks the immune system into producing antibodies that target and attack the ovaries. PZP’s antibodies cause the mare to suffer ovarian dystrophy, oophoritis (inflammation of the ovaries), ovarian cysts, destruction of oocytes in growing follicles, and depletion of resting follicles. Not surprisingly, estrogen levels drop markedly as the ovaries are slowly destroyed. But PZP’s adverse effects are not limited to the individual animal. As a recent study — which included the Little Book Cliffs, Colorado herd and the McCullough Peaks, Wyoming herd — found, PZP extends the birthing season to nearly year-round. Out-of-season births put the life of the foals and the mares at risk. Further, the same study disclosed that the pesticide causes a delay lasting 411.3 days (1.13 years) per each year-of-treatment before mares recover their fertility after suspension of PZP. However, some mares never recover — they are left permanently sterile, and quickly too. Indeed, yet another study found that sterility could occur in some mares from just three years of PZP injections or from just one treatment if the pesticide were given to a filly before she reached puberty. Because PZP messes with the immune system, it ironically works “best” — sterilizes faster — if the mare has a strong immune system. But, conversely, PZP may not work at all in mares whose immune function is weak or depressed. So, the pesticide discriminates against the very horses that Nature has best equipped for survival against disease while favoring and selecting for the immuno-compromised. Worse yet, tests performed via radioimmunoassay indicated that PZP antibodies are transferred from mother to young via the placenta and milk. The transferred antibodies cross-react with and bind to the zonae pellucidae of female offspring, as demonstrated by immunofluorescent techniques.”  [From: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=8529]

 

Pm PZP Darts

Links of interest™:

Immunocontraception (Wikipedia): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immunocontraception

“Whenever an immune response is provoked, there is some risk of autoimmunity. Therefore immunocontraception trials typically check for signs of autoimmune disease.[17] One concern with zona pellucida vaccination, in particular, is that in certain cases it appears to be correlated with ovarian pathogenesis.[2] However, ovarian disease has not been observed in every trial of zona pellucida vaccination, and when observed, has not always been irreversible.[18]”

 

Autoimmune disease (Wikipedia): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autoimmune_disease 

“Autoimmune diseases arise from an abnormal immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body (autoimmunity). . .”

 

ZonaStat-H is the EPA restricted-use pesticide–PZP–for wild horses and burros the registrant calls “pests”: http://www3.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/pending/fs_PC-176603_01-Jan-12.pdf

 

Tule elk: http://www.nps.gov/pore/learn/nature/tule_elk.htm

 

Tule elks at Pt. Reyes National Seashore (National Park Service): http://www.nps.gov/pore/getinvolved/supportyourpark/upload/volunteer_docent_info_tule_elk_elkmanagement_v5.0_1.pdf

 

Challenges face tule elk management in Point Reyes National Seashore  http://www.mercurynews.com/pets-animals/ci_28311296/challenges-face-tule-elk-management-point-reyes-national

“Earlier this year park service officials revealed that more than 250 tule elk died inside the fenced area over a two-year period, in part because pools that the herds rely on for water had gone dry. Meanwhile, ranchers are complaining about the free-range elk getting on their land and eating grass and drinking water intended for their dairy cattle and other agricultural operations.”

 

Paratuberculosis or Johne’s disease (Wikipedia): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paratuberculosis

 

Testing for Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection in asymptomatic free-ranging tule elk from an infected herd.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12910759

“Forty-five adult tule elk (Cervus elaphus nannodes) in good physical condition were translocated from a population located at Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County (California, USA), to a holding pen 6 mo prior to release in an unfenced region of the park. Because infection with Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (Mptb) had been reported in the source population, the translocated elk underwent extensive ante-mortem testing using three Johne’s disease assays: enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA); agar gel immunodiffusion assay (AGID), and fecal culture. Isolation of Mptb was made from fecal samples in six of 45 elk (13%). All AGID results were negative while ELISA results for 18 elk (40%) were considered elevated. Elevated ELISA results or Mptb isolation from fecal samples were obtained for 22 of 45 elk (49%); these elk were euthanized and necropsied. Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis was isolated from tissue in 10 of 22 euthanized elk (45%); of these 10 cases of confirmed infection, eight had elevated ELISA results (80%) and four were fecal culture positive (40%). One of 10 cases had histopathologic lesions consistent with Mptb infection. Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis was also isolated from tissue from one of eight fetuses sampled. The number of tule elk found to be infected was unexpected, both because of the continued overall health of the source herd and the normal clinical status of all study animals.”

 

Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis and Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium infections in a tule elk (Cervus elaphus nannodes) herd. 2006. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17255437 

Abstract
“Between 2 August and 22 September 2000, 37 hunter-killed tule elk (Cervus elaphus nannodes) were evaluated at the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, California, USA, for evidence of paratuberculosis. Elk were examined post-mortem, and tissue and fecal samples were submitted for radiometric mycobacterial culture. Acid-fast isolates were identified by a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) that discriminates among members of the Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC). Histopathologic evaluations were completed, and animals were tested for antibodies using a Johne’s enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and agar gel immunodiffusion. In addition, 104 fecal samples from tule elk remaining in the herd were collected from the ground and submitted for radiometric mycobacterial culture. No gross lesions were detected in any of the hunter-killed animals. Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) was cultured once from ileocecal tissue of one adult elk and was determined to be a strain (A18) found commonly in infected cattle. One or more isolates of Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium (MAA) were isolated from tissues of five additional adult elk. Gastrointestinal tract and lymph node tissues from 17 of the 37 elk (46%) examined had histopathologic lesions commonly seen with mycobacterial infection; however, acid-fast bacteria were not observed. All MAC infections were detected from adult elk (P = 0.023). In adult elk, a statistically significant association was found between MAA infection and ELISA sample-to-positive ratio (S/P) > or = 0.25 (P=0.021); four of five MAA culture-positive elk tested positive by ELISA. Sensitivity and specificity of ELISA S/P > or = 0.25 for detection of MAA in adult elk were 50% and 93%, respectively. No significant associations were found between MAC infection and sex or histopathologic lesions. Bacteriologic culture confirmed infection with MAP and MAA in this asymptomatic tule elk herd. The Johne’s ELISA was useful in signaling mycobacterial infection on a population basis but could not discriminate between MAA and MAP antibodies. The multiplex PCR was useful in discriminating among the closely related species belonging to MAC.
Between 2 August and 22 September 2000, 37 hunter-killed tule elk (Cervus elaphus nannodes) were evaluated at the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, California, USA, for evidence of paratuberculosis. Elk were examined post-mortem, and tissue and fecal samples were submitted for radiometric mycobacterial culture. Acid-fast isolates were identified by a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) that discriminates among members of the Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC). Histopathologic evaluations were completed, and animals were tested for antibodies using a Johne’s enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and agar gel immunodiffusion. In addition, 104 fecal samples from tule elk remaining in the herd were collected from the ground and submitted for radiometric mycobacterial culture. No gross lesions were detected in any of the hunter-killed animals. Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) was cultured once from ileocecal tissue of one adult elk and was determined to be a strain (A18) found commonly in infected cattle. One or more isolates of Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium (MAA) were isolated from tissues of five additional adult elk. Gastrointestinal tract and lymph node tissues from 17 of the 37 elk (46%) examined had histopathologic lesions commonly seen with mycobacterial infection; however, acid-fast bacteria were not observed. All MAC infections were detected from adult elk (P = 0.023). In adult elk, a statistically significant association was found between MAA infection and ELISA sample-to-positive ratio (S/P) > or = 0.25 (P=0.021); four of five MAA culture-positive elk tested positive by ELISA. Sensitivity and specificity of ELISA S/P > or = 0.25 for detection of MAA in adult elk were 50% and 93%, respectively. No significant associations were found between MAC infection and sex or histopathologic lesions. Bacteriologic culture confirmed infection with MAP and MAA in this asymptomatic tule elk herd. The Johne’s ELISA was useful in signaling mycobacterial infection on a population basis but could not discriminate between MAA and MAP antibodies. The multiplex PCR was useful in discriminating among the closely related species belonging to MAC.”

 

Epizootic of paratuberculosis in farmed elk http://www.johnes.org/handouts/files/Elk_outbreak.pdf

 

TESTING FOR MYCOBACTERIUM AVIUM SUBSP. PARATUBERCULOSIS INFECTION IN ASYMPTOMATIC FREE-RANGING TULE ELK FROM AN INFECTED HERD (Journal of Wildlife Diseases, : http://www.bioone.org/doi/pdf/10.7589/0090-3558-39.2.323

 

Immuno-Contraception Research for Managing Tule Elk Population – Phase I Scheduled to Begin on August 6, 1997 http://www.nps.gov/pore/learn/news/newsreleases_19970805_elkimmunocontraception97.htm

“. . . Funding for tule elk projects has come from a variety of sources. To date, monetary support and in-kind services for the tule elk project has been received from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Point Reyes National Seashore Association, Committee for the Preservation of Tule Elk, California Department of Fish and Game, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), University of California at Davis, the National Park Service Natural Resource Preservation Program and In Defense of Animals.” [Evidently Suzanne Roy, currently the Director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign–who pushes PZP based management–was working for IDA at the time.]

 

Immuno-Contraception Research for Managing Tule Elk Population – Phase II Scheduled to Begin on June 15, 1998  http://www.nps.gov/pore/learn/news/newsreleases_19980615_elkimmunocontraception98.htm

“. . . During the second phase of the contraceptive research project, the first vaccine will be administered by direct syringe injection. To administer the injection, 30 elk will be captured from a helicopter and hobbled by ground crews. Scientists will gather data on the individual elk and place a radio collar on each of the elk. The collar will allow scientists to follow the individual elk to determine the effectiveness of the contraceptive. After several weeks, a booster shot will be remotely administered, from ranges of 30 to 150 feet, by means of self-injecting darts. The darts are brightly colored and easily retrieved. A single annual booster inoculation will be administered to continue contraceptive effects for successive breeding seasons.”

 

Use of porcine zona pellucida (PZP) vaccine as a contraceptive agent in free-ranging tule elk (Cervus elaphus nannodes). published 2002: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12220156 

Abstract (note only a 5 year study. Why aren’t they studying the truly long-term effects?)
The potential for the application of porcine zona pellucida (PZP) immunocontraception in wildlife population management has been tested over a 15 year period and promises to provide a useful wildlife management tool. These studies have provided evidence indicating that the use of PZP immunocontraception in wildlife: (i) is effective at both the physiological and population level (Liu et al., 1989; Kirkpatrick et al., 1996; Turner et al., this supplement); (ii) is deliverable by remote means (Kirkpatrick et al., 1990; Shideler, 2000); (iii) is safe in pregnant animals (Kirkpatrick and Turner, this supplement); (iv) is reversible (Kirkpatrick et al., 1991; Kirkpatrick and Turner, this supplement); (v) results in no long-term debilitating health problems (Kirkpatrick et al., 1995; Turner and Kirkpatrick, this supplement); (vi) has no implications for passage through the food chain (Harlow and Lane, 1988); and (vii) is reasonably inexpensive (J. F. Kirkpatrick, personal communication). This report presents the results of a 5 year study in tule elk (Cervus elaphus nannodes), 3 years of which were on the application of PZP immunocontraception to an expanding elk population living in a wilderness area of Point Reyes National Seashore in Marin County, CA…”

 

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