BLM Begins Multiyear Wild Horse Fertility Study

More than 100 Bureau of Land Management (BLM) mustang mares residing at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center's holding facility in Carson City will be treated with a longer-lasting version of the immuno-contraceptive agent porcine zona pellucida (PZP) as part of a research study to determine if the drug can extend the animals' infertility to up to four years.

More than 100 Bureau of Land Management (BLM) mustang mares residing at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center's holding facility in Carson City will be treated with a longer-lasting version of the immuno-contraceptive agent porcine zona pellucida (PZP) as part of a research study to determine if the drug can extend the animals' infertility to up to four years.

The PZP vaccine currently used by the BLM is injected as a liquid or fed in pellet form to fertile mares aged 4 to 20 years. The contraceptive acts as a foreign protein against which treated mares produce antibodies that attach to the mare's sperm receptors on the ovum and block fertilization. A single PZP vaccination currently renders treated mares infertile for 22 months.

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