ASPCA Awards $100,000 to Science and Conservation Center for Wild Horse Fertility ControlFunds will help Montana facility construct training center for contraceptive vaccine
NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced a $100,000 grant to the Science and Conservation Center in Billings, Mont. to construct the Henry Bergh Training Annex, named after the ASPCA’s founder, to train professionals in administering fertility control to wild horses. The non-profit Science and Conservation Center advocates the humane control of various horse populations by means of a contraceptive vaccine, generically known as porcine zona pellucida (PZP).
Along with the production and distribution of PZP, the Center is responsible for the training of personnel to apply this form of fertility control in the field. Space limitations in the Center’s four laboratories, where the vaccine is produced, currently restrict the size of each training session. The ASPCA’s grant funding will permit the expansion of the 3,200-square-foot facility to accommodate larger classes with greater frequency. Completion of the 1,000-square-foot training annex is anticipated this summer.
“The Science and Conservation Center is the world's only dedicated facility for the development of wildlife contraceptives and methods of application,” said Jacque Schultz, senior director of the ASPCA Equine Fund. "It is extremely important to humanely manage the populations of wild horses, whether on public land, tribal land or in the care of private sanctuaries, and this funding will enable others concerned about wild herd management to obtain the necessary skills and expertise to run a successful fertility control program.”
The Science and Conservation Center produces, carries out quality control, and distributes the contraceptive vaccine and is the repository for all records and data required by the Food and Drug Administration. In 2011, the Center provided vaccines for the treatment of over 1,600 wild, tribal and sanctuary horses from across the country. In February of this year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which has regulatory authority for all wildlife contraceptives, approved PZP, under the registered name ZonaStat-H, for use in horses, the only such approved contraceptive vaccine for horses.
Last year, the ASPCA Equine Fund awarded nearly $1.5 million in grant funding to 165 non-profit equine welfare organizations in 38 states whose focus and expertise is concentrated on reducing the suffering of equines who have lost their homes or been cruelly treated. For more information on the ASPCA, please visit www.aspca.org.