Development and collaboration in the new project for the population control of urban and peri-urban wild boar by means of the contraception promoted by the Department of Animal Health and Anatomy of the Faculty of Veterinary Science of the Autonomous University of Barcelona.
The pilot test will involve the use of the GonaCon® vaccine, which has produced good results with deer in the USA and with wild boar in captivity in the United Kingdom. Its action mechanism consists of the creation of antibodies to work against the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), essential for mammalian reproduction. As occurs when a vaccine is applied against a disease, the animals receive an injected dose (in this case via intramuscular injection) in order for them to start producing antibodies after a few days. The immune response of the wild boar has been shown to be variable, lasting between two and five years.
The determination of the reproduction-related hormones and the observation of gonad tissue and antibody titers will enable us to determine the effectiveness of the administered vaccine. A reduction in hormones, inactive reproductive tissue and high antibody titers would be evidence of a positive response to the vaccine.
The scientific study of the project is coordinated by the Research Group on Infertility (GRI-BCN) of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), led by Dr Manel López-Béjar, lecturer in the Department of Animal Health and Anatomy. Other researchers on the project include Dr Jordi Miró, lecturer in the Department of Animal Medicine and Surgery, and Dr Encarna Casas, specialist research support technician in the Department of Animal Health and Anatomy, and Dr Francesc Closa, research partner of the same department.
The pilot project may lead to the development of a new methodology to be taken into consideration and added to those already used in wild boar management, although it is not designed to be used in isolation or on a large scale.
The administration of this vaccine does not involve any risk in relation to the consumption of wild boar. The proposed methodology is similar to the one that has been used in Australia and New Zealand for over a decade in pork for human consumption.
Wild boar (Sus scrofa) ecology in Mediterranean environments. Agreement between Barcelona Provincial Council, the Government of Catalonia and the Autonomous University of Barcelona (2013-2015). Currently at the drafting stage.