Thursday, August 09, 2007

HSUS NRRO and the Wild Horse Herds of SD - part 1

The Wild Horse Herd of South Dakota

I think it is exciting to know how our donations help our charities. HSUS NRRO - the Humane Society of the United States Northern Regional Rockies Office - serves a whopping eight state area. This mean that Dave Pauli, director, is often out in the field 7 days a week. For example, spring of 2007 found Dave and his two man crew of volunteers in SD. They were conducting a contraception program with a wild horse herd

This is a cutting edge process for maintaining wild horse herds without the dreaded "round ups". The annual wild horse round ups still occur many places and mean breaking up the herd creating untold stress on the horses and often taking foals from mothers. After all this the BLM offers the horse for sale trying to place the horses in homes or worse sending them off to slaughter.

But in SD this year HSUS NRRO made a difference - thanks in part to our donations. HSUS NRRO used an immunocontraceptive called PZP (porcine zona pellucida). The zona pellucida is a thick membrane that surrounds the unfertilized eggs of mammals. In order for an egg to be fertilized, sperm must first bind to, and then penetrate the zona pellucida. When porcine (pig) zona pellucida is injected into the horses, antibodies are produced which attach to the mares zona pellucida, preventing any sperm from attaching to the egg, therefore preventing fertilization. It is like putting super glue in a lock.

Stay tuned for more photos and the whole story about contraceptive darting the Wild Horse Herd in SD.

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