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Author Topic: Stop wild cats in AU. No cost is to high.

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Stop wild cats in AU. No cost is to high.
« on: 03 March 2009 at 08:31 »

I know there is a wild cat problem in AU but there are wild cats in my area too that need this stuff.  It's tough to catch them too so I totally agree with the solution that's a food additive so I could just put it in a dish outside and let the animals come to it. I don't want rabies or anything, ya know?

Exerp: " Dr. Stephen Boyle, developed a genetically engineered bacterium (Salmonella), which when fed to female cats, would prevent eggs from fertilization.... "


Cat overpopulation is arguably one of the largest global problems facing animal advocates, as the figures increase annually. In 1996, Sarah Hartwell of the Feline Advisory Bureau wrote :

"Britain has an estimated 7 million pet cats and 1 million ferals. By comparison, the United States has approximately 60 million pet cats and 60 million ferals. Feral populations are swollen by breeding and the dumping of unwanted pets; 5 million cats and dogs are 'dumped' annually according to the US Department of Agriculture while American surveys suggest that between 36% and 60% of unneutered pet cats go feral within 3 years."
Alley Cat Allies estimates the current U.S. figure to be between 60 million and 100 million ferals, but the United States is not alone - Australia and Singapore also struggle with problems related to feral cats.

Traditional "solutions" in some areas have been trapping and destroying ferals, or even shooting them, which is currently still being practiced in Australia. The U.S. is not immune to this practice, either. Federal employees are still available to assist local agencies, by shooting "problem" feral cats. A previous article detailed one incidence of this "solution" in a city near my own hometown when Federal Wildlife Damage Control officers were hired to shoot feral cats in a park.

TNR is a Better Solution For several years, an increasing number of animal advocates are utilizing Trap - Neuter - Release programs for management of feral cat colonies. The reasoning behind TNR as opposed to trapping/destroying is that when feral cats are trapped and destroyed, new cats simply move into the colonies, whereas, and established colony of neutered cats will defend their territory from outsiders. The figures show clearly that TNR is working, as indicated by this page from a previous article.

Animal advocates breathlessly await the announcement of a new sterilization drug, which could be administered by injection, pill, or even as a food additive. The latter, depending on cost, would be a boon to managers of feral cat colonies who struggle daily to trap wily ferals. Many feral colony managers include vaccinations in their trips to the vet, but spay/neuter procedures are the "biggie," cost-wise, besides requiring invasive surgery in a controlled environment. Sterilization drugs are being developed on several frontiers:

Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine Project
In 1998, student Michelle Meister-Weisbarth, in conjunction with Dr. Stephen Boyle, developed a genetically engineered bacterium (Salmonella), which when fed to female cats, would prevent eggs from fertilization.
"Meister-Weisbarth then introduced a gene encoding a protein derived from the zona pellucida surrounding the vertebrate egg into the salmonella. The bacterial vaccine is capable of inducing the production of antibodies which recognize the zona pellucida and block the ability of a sperm to fertilize the egg."
CNN Article Current plans involve testing by scattering of the vaccine-laced food pellets in areas populated by feral cat colonies. Of major importance will be the study of what effect, if any, the medication will have on the psychology of the colonies. Meister-Weisbarth says it may be two to five years before the drug will be available for public use, as the FDA will want proof there is no negative impact on the environment.

Injectable Vaccine from University of Georgia Vet
Dr. Richard Fayrer-Hosken, a veterinarian at the University of Georgia, has developed a drug, based on similar research, which is injectable. Fayrer-Hosken wants to test it on at least a thousand dogs before seeking approval from the FDA.

SpayVac - University of Florida
The Winn Feline Foundation has given a $14,484 award to a team at the University of Florida for research in the "Nonsurgical alternative to altering feral cats: 'EVALUATION OF SPAYVAC(tm) FOR STERILIZING DOMESTIC CATS (FELIS CATUS).'" SpayVac has already been proven to reduce fertility in Barbery sheep, rabbits, and several seals species, and the U. of Florida team hopes to prove its effectiveness in sterilizing feral cats.

RU-486 as a Cat Sterilization Agent?
Mibolerone, a close chemical relative of Mifepristone (an ingredient in RU-486), which is an androgen steroid which blocks the production of progesterone, which is needed to sustain pregnancy. For various political reasons, mibolerone has not been available for public use, and in its present form is not cost-effective for sterilization in a larger context. In fact, in 1985, after the FDA banned the importation of RU-486 into the U.S., the Carnation company quietly discontinued its previously announced plans to market a birth control dog food, tentively called "Extra Care."

However, it is thought that in the present climate, if mibolerone could be manufactured in sufficient quantity, with appropriate formulations, it might again present a viable alternative to surgical spaying.

None of these immunocontraceptive vaccines are expected to be a substitute for surgical spaying of owned female cats. Why? Because they do not stop ovulation, nor the attendant frustrated behavior of female cats in heat. Furthermore, surgical spaying helps prevents ovarian cancer and mammary tumors.
Barring an unexpected announcement, it seems apparent that it will be at least another couple of years before any of these "contraceptive" drugs will be available While we wait impatiently for these drugs to reach the hands of those who need them another three to five million kittens will be born. At least, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
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