Md. Approves Birth Control for Deer - NBC4 Washington

Md. Approves Birth Control for Deer

New efforts to control deer population in Md.



    Md. Approves Birth Control for Deer
    Steve Bower, Shutterstock

    Maryland is the first state to approve birth control for deer.

    According to the Cumberland Times-News, state wildlife officials created policies for Gonacon's use over the past several weeks. The Times-News interviewed Paul Peditto, the director of the Wildlife and Heritage Service. ``This is the only immuno-contraceptive for deer that has federal approval,'' said Peditto. But he cautioned that the contracpetive is no ``magic bullet'' for population control.

    Gonacon's use is limited, because of the manpower and expense required.  Deer must first be tranquilized with a dart gun before Gonacon can be injected, and the Environmental Protection Agency requires that any deer that is injected also be tagged.

    According to Peditto, it costs up to $1,000 to apply the birth control to a deer. 

    A scientist with the Humane Society of the United States hopes that the contraceptive drug is a step along the way to better deer population controls short of shooting and killing the animals.  The Society's Stephanie Boyles said, "there is a demand for nonlethal options."