Zoo using birth control to ease crowding concerns amid TB outbreak
A British zoo has decided to give animals birth control over crowding concerns amid a deadly outbreak of tuberculosis.
The Paignton Zoo in England, which is temporarily not allowed to move any mammals over fears of spreading the disease, opted for contraceptive measures instead — including pills, injections, tablets and IUD coils to temporarily curb animal reproduction to avoid overcrowding, the BBC reported.
Last year, 11 antelope had to be euthanized due to the discovery of TB at the zoo, the paper reported.
The zoo’s breeding program, which has sent hundreds of animals to other facilities across the globe, has also been halted due to the outbreak, according to the paper.
“We must prevent overcrowding,” head veterinarian Ghislaine Sayers told the paper, “but we must still be in a position to take part in breeding programs when the restrictions are lifted, so we need temporary solutions.”
The zoo can hopefully restart the program by the end of the year when the Animal and Plant Health Agency tests the animals again in six months, the Telegraph reported.
It has also added more security in an effort to keep out badgers, which are believed to have brought the disease into the zoo, the BBC reported.