First of all, thanks to everyone who weighed in yesterday in the Kindle discussion. It did give me the information to ask better questions of the sales rep and make up my mind. We decided to buy one, and we purchased it at Best Buy for the same price it would have been on Amazon. Apparently, it's sold at a number of different stores, Staples, too, which gives you the opportunity to try it out. Kate had a very good discussion about the Kindle on her blog, The Reader's Closet.
Now to the topic I've been working on for today, PZP--the contraceptive used on wild horses.
Everyone who loves Mustangs, despite their views one way or another, can probably agree that the herds, or at least some of the herds, must be reduced in a humane way. The question that always comes to my mind whenever I hear a plan--like the Pickens Plan--is how are you going to control the numbers? (Especially, in a refuge or monument setting where there will be plenty of food and water provided.)
I'm just beginning to study the issue and, at this point, I'm thinking maybe the answer is PZP.
The guidelines the scientific community worked to achieve are that the conceptive should...
-be at least 90% effective.
-be capable of administration by remote delivery.
-either be immediately reversible, or its effects should passively wear off.
-be safe to pregnant animals.
-not pass through the natural food chain.
-have no debilitating side effects on the health of the horses.
-not influence the social behavior of the horses.
I think these guidelines are excellent, and they say they've mostly achieved them in field trials, although I haven't found the evidence from recent studies--the last I found was '02. (See link above) From what I've read, PZP does influence the social behavior of the horses.
Please take a moment to help me, and everyone else who visits the blog, learn more about this subject. What do we know about PZP now? Please share any information you have--links, facts, tidbits, opinions, experience. Every opinion is welcome--I love to hear all sides to a story.
A few great links, in addition to the government link above:
An EXCELLENT article in the New York Times: click here
Article on a negative side-effect, it seems to extend the breeding season. Click here.
Position paper, August 2010, Cloud Foundation. Click here.
Also, if you have a second, please head to Spring Creek Basin Weblog and vote on TJ Holmes' calendar cover. She'll put you in a drawing for one if you do. If I don't win, I'm definitely buying one, or two--they are just gorgeous pictures of Mustangs--each with a wonderful story of its own. She follows this herd's every move and loves them like her own family.
****More links from TJ, who knows more about this subject than I ever dreamed of knowing.******
http://www.wildhorsepreservation.com/resources/fertility.html "The results have been remarkable. On ASIS, the population has dropped from 175 animals to 123 over the 16-year period during the time the vaccine has been used at the management level. Body condition scores of the mares have improved significantly, mortality rates have dropped and longevity has increased by ten years and more, in some cases. The annual cost of the entire program is barely more than the cost of removing four horses through the Adopt-A-Horse program."
http://www.mywyoming.org/video/1y8d9ofce8 (this is a video - long - about 90 minutes; it's a presentation Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick made at the Lovell (Wyoming) Community Center last summer)