Traditional population management techniques for overabundant wildlife such as hunting and trapping may be restricted or infeasible in parks and suburban areas. Thus, wildlife managers and administrators are being urged to consider other techniques, such as sharpshooting and fertility control.
The Wildlife Society (www.wildlife.org) in their final position paper stated the following;
“Wildlife fertility control can be applied in the form of hormone implants, surgical procedures, chemical sterilants, or vaccines. The success of these techniques has been lower in the past than originally hoped, partly due to inadequate understanding of reproductive strategies for some species. With an increasing research focus on contraceptive development, and more knowledge of animal reproductive systems and behaviors, fertility control as a technology is advancing rapidly.”
Wildlife fertility control is currently being tested in a number of species on a small scale and may be employed as a wildlife management technique in the future. Major hurdles still include biological feasibility, economic practicality, development of cost-effective delivery systems for effective products, public and natural resource agency acceptance of fertility control as a wildlife management practice, and commercial availability of vaccines or baits.
Currently contraceptives for wild and feral animals like rats are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency so it is necessary to submit the required documentation and testing results to the agency to get any new drug approved.
To get approval a drug sponsor must provide substantial evidence of the drug’s effectiveness through adequate and well-controlled studies.
The safety of the drug in the target species must also be proven