A newly-developed "injection contraceptive" will prevent pets from reproducing unnecessarily - no surgery required!
Did you know? Every day in the United States, 70,000 cats and dogs are born – that’s nearly 3,000 born every hour or 50 born every minute! While baby animals are certainly adorable to care for and cuddle, a large majority of animals left with all their working parts give birth to several litters throughout their life, contributing to the major issue of pet homelessness.
Because of this, 10,000 cats and dogs are euthanized every day – or 3 to 4 million each year – in the United States alone. This saddening statistic may soon be lessened, however, with the implementation of a new birth control shot developed specifically for domestic mammals.
According to the journal Current Biology, uncomfortable procedures to spay and neuter animals may soon be a thing of the past. Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) have reportedly developed a simple shot that will prevent animals from reproducing.
The “vectored contraception” works like a vaccine against pregnancy. According to the journal, the procedure causes muscle cells to block a hormone called GnRH. All mammals, including humans, require GnRH to reproduce. The hormone is essential to for the development of eggs and the maturation of sperm; blocking it, therefore, makes mammals infertile.
A number of uses for the groundbreaking “injection contraceptive” exist, such as using it to help control feral cat populations. Wild felines may be caught and injected with the shot, rather than have to endure surgery.
Said Bruce Hay, professor of biology and biological engineering at Caltech:
“Spaying and neutering of animals to control fertility, unwanted behavior, and population numbers of feral animals is costly and time-consuming, and therefore often doesn’t happen. There is a strong desire in many parts of the world for quick, nonsurgical approaches to inhibiting fertility. We think vectored contraception provides such an approach.”
The CalTech research was supported by Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Beckman Institute, and the National Institutes of Health and in part by a Gates Millennium Scholar Award for one of the scientists on the team, shares Good News Network.
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