Birth control vaccine for wild pigs to slow boar populations - California Hunting Post

Birth control vaccine for wild pigs to slow boar populations

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First, there were birth control pills for humans, then for exotic animals or big feral beasts with excessive population growth (bison, wild horses, donkeys, etc.), and now scientists are developing a birth control vaccine for wild pigs.

The new birth control vaccine is undergoing testing and double-blind studies to examine whether it is effective and, if yes, how to best apply it. It is not a standard birth control pill that manipulates hormones and hormone levels. On the contrary, for the first time, scientists are using an entirely new method of birth control.

We are not talking about your standard birth control pill that manipulates hormones and hormone levels. On the contrary, for the first time, scientists are using an entirely new method of birth control.

birth control vaccine
How many piglets are too many?

Researchers are working on a birth control vaccine that works just like any other vaccine. When introduced to a host body, the vaccine stimulates the production of anti-bodies that fight and suppress the introduced foreign materials. The new birth control vaccine under development is a immunocontraceptive, not your standard run of the mill hormonal manipulator.

Birth control has been used on other wild or feral animals successfully. It works best on limited-range animal populations. A good example are the wild buffalo on Santa Catalina Island off the coast of southern California. A small herd of buffalo was left behind after filming a movie on Catalina Island. Over time, the population grew substantially and to a point where the animals caused damage to the environment and endangered people.

Free applications of birth control for the cows solved stopped the excessive growth of the buffalo population on the island.

birth control vaccine

What worked for buffalo, horses, donkeys, and other critters should also limit wild pig population growth.

And indeed, first trial runs with the wild pig birth control vaccine showed promising results. A team of scientists of the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in Auburn, AL, published the first results of their study in January 2017.

The scientists from Auburn Veterinary University are working on a birth control vaccine that affects only pigs. The birth control vaccine for pigs works very much like any vaccine. It stimulates the pig’s body to develop anti-bodies that, in turn, preclude regular reproductive cycles in porcine females. Essentially, the new birth control pill is a immunocontraceptive specific to pigs.

Other birth control pills currently in use or in the testing phase suppress the reproductive cycle of females by altering or eliminating certain hormones. Not so the new birth control vaccine for pigs. This vaccine also does not affect any other species.

Furthermore, the vaccine can be cheaply and easily produced with current production equipment and methods. That’s a big advantage because it lowers the cost of the birth control vaccine considerably. No wonder, government agencies tasked with wild pig control are excited about this promising new birth control method for pigs.

And so are, of course, property owners who suffered from extensive damage caused by pigs, golf course owners, cities with parks, and many other interested parties that had major property damage caused by wild pigs.

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Nevertheless, while the many welcome a birth control method for wild pigs that works on pigs, some Texan ranchers will be vehemently opposed to the use of birth control on wild pigs. After all, these guys are earning a substantial part of their annual income from hunters who pay a bundle to hunt ‘wild’ pigs on a weekend on their ranch.

Birth Control vaccine
Auto feeding wild pigs on Texas ranch

Oh well, you cannot please everyone. But what is better, the use of a targetable birth control vaccine for population control or the wholesale eradication of an entire species of an exciting and challenging game animal?

You tell me . . .

PJJ

pjj

Publisher and Editor in Chief at United Seabears
Peter Jaeckle is the publisher and Chief Editor of the California Hunting Post.You can find him also on Google+,Twitter, Facebook and on many other sites. Over the past decades he has written on investments, dogs and dog rescue, economic and on environmental topics.
pjj

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