Horse contraception project launched

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The World Horse Welfare is teaming up with The Friends of The Dartmoor Hill Pony organisation to deliver a contraception programme on Dartmoor ponies.

Veterinary consultant for the charity Keith Meldrum has been working with the firm and pharmaceutical company Pfizer for a number of months on the plan to provide 20 mares with a contraceptive injection.

The project will commence its first round of injections on Wednesday (May 23rd). The semi-feral ponies will be rounded up into a holding area before being microchipped and then given the contraceptive.

This has been a long time in the planning process as authorities wanted to reduce the number of foals going to slaughter.

Mr Meldrum said a project of this kind has never been carried out before in the UK and there are high hopes for the success of it.

"We feel that this method of control is advantageous as the mares can come back into foal after the treatment; there is simply a reduction in foal production for the duration of the project," he continued.

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