The Humane Society of the United States is making some animal rights activist unhappy with an otherwise animal rights-style project.
The HSUS has reached agreements with Six Flags Wild Safari in New Jersey to carry out an experiment in using contraception rather than hunting to control bear populations. The HSUS will do two separate tests, one in which it will inject female bears with PZP and another where it will administer a chemical castration compound, Neutrosol, to male bears.
It is the PZP experiment that had New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance activist Joe Miele complaining in a post to AR-NEWS that “HSUS [is] exploiting pigs to save bears.” When injected into bears, PZP causes an immune system reaction that has a byproduct of preventing sperm from fertilizing a female’s eggs. PZP is obtained by taking tissue from dead pigs.
Vegan birth control it ain’t. Presumably it was undertaken on one of the days of the week when HSUS doesn’t oppose animal research.
Bear contraception to be tested at Six Flags. Brian Murray, New Jersey Star-Ledger, October 8, 2004.