Goldade recently reported on the new vaccine at the 242nd National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society.
The vaccine causes deer to produce antibodies that destroy the GnRH before it can ever trigger the sex hormones. USDA studies on white-tailed deer, free-ranging California ground squirrels, captive Norway rats, domestic and feral swine and wild horses have shown GonaCon to be effective in a wide range of animals.
The birth control vaccine could even be useful for pets and domesticated animals that have not been spayed or neutered. In cats, for example, scent-spraying, fighting, wandering, and caterwauling could be controlled.
The vaccine was designed to control the wild deer population, but there are a few drawbacks. Though it is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency, it must also be registered with state agencies. So far, only Maryland and New Jersey have approved its use.