East Hampton Support for Pilot Deer-contraception Program May 19, 2011 New York, Urban

Ruminant Rumblings May 19, 2011 New York  Urban  East Hampton Star
By Joanne Pilgrim | 

The East Hampton Group for Wildlife is advocating a pilot deer-contraception program. Durell Godfrey At a town board session on Tuesday, the East Hampton Group for Wildlife offered to raise money and help the ...Bill Crain of Montauk, the president of the group, and his wife, Ellen Crain, outlined a proposal for a pilot study through which 30 does would be vaccinated with a contraceptive made with a protein from purified pig ovaries, effective for three to four years, and 10 given a placebo. The does would be tagged so they could be monitored for four years to see if they give birth to fawns. Ms. Crain, a professor of pediatric and emergency medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, said research shows that hunting does not adequately control deer populations, and nationwide studies show that most Americans oppose hunting. The contraceptive vaccine that could be used on the deer has proved to be safe and “not harmful to humans or to animals that eat deer,” Ms. Crain said, and it is used by the United States government to control herds of wild horses in the West. It would be provided for free by its developer, a veterinarian who would also offer his services to oversee an East Hampton pilot study. Dr. Jonathan Turetsky, an East Hampton vet, has offered to oversee care of the deer, Ms. Crain said. The program would have no cost to the town.

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