USDA National Wildlife Research Center Symposia


Date of this Version

October 1993


Contraception in wildlife management. APHIS Technical Bulletin No. 1853. USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Washington, D.C., USA.


A remotely delivered contraceptive was developed that suppressed estrus and prevented pregnancy in deer with 100-percent efficacy. This contraceptive utilized norgestomet, a potent progestin that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in cattle. Although the needle-less norgestomet implant is not FDA approved for use in deer, it is safe for treated animals, humans, and the environment. The remote delivery of this implant can be accomplished up to 40 m away and causes minimal tissue damage and stress if administered properly. Because of its ease, its simplicity of delivery, and the control it provides for proper drug handling, the needle-less norgestomet implant holds much promise for control of the overpopulation of deer in the United States. Further, no part of this product will remain to pollute the environment. Although this contraceptive was developed for female deer, preliminary studies suggest that the needle-less norgestomet implant may be effective in males. Widespread use of the needle-less norgestomet implant in deer requires further extensive (and costly) establishment of safety and efficacy as well as FDA approval.