June 9, 2010
Momentum Builds After 4th International Symposium On Pet Contraception
Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs convene experts and advocates from around the world
From April 8 to 10, 2010, 185 attendees from 25 countries convened in Dallas, Texas, to focus on advancing new tools to humanely and effectively manage populations of pet and un-owned cats and dogs. Experts in reproductive biology and other related scientific disciplines presented the newest research and discussed perspectives with industry experts in animal health drug development. Veterinary leaders joined with animal welfare and advocacy groups, foundation representatives, public health officials and others to assess the tools currently available for use. Together, these stakeholders looked at where we are, what is possible, and what is needed to advance non-surgical methods for controlling cat and dog reproduction around the world.
A post-meeting survey generated high praise for the symposium; many felt inspired by the international involvement and excited about real progress using current approaches, and fresh science with real promise to deliver new technologies in the future.
A more detailed version of this report is available at www.acc-d.org/4thSymposiumProceedings. A comprehensive list of speakers and attendees, session summaries, recorded presentations, posters and related think-tank reports are also currently available to view or download free of charge.
Resources to advance new science, and a new tool available now
After the symposium, a survey of the attendees indicated that 88% felt more hopeful that we will see progress in this area and 81% said they are now more interested in being involved in this effort. Contributing to high levels of enthusiasm were two key developments in the last two years.
The Michelson Prize & Grants in Reproductive Biology, launched in October 2008 by Found Animals Foundation, is inspiring researchers worldwide to focus on the goal of finding new non-surgical approaches to reproduction control. A $25 million prize is offered for a single-dose sterilant for male and female cats and dogs. Another $50 million in grant funding is offered for research with promise to advance progress toward that goal. Thirty-five attendees reported that they are likely to submit research proposals for possible grant funding.
"I am convinced that excellent researchers working all over the world, supported by the Michelson Grants, will eventually develop such a treatment. This conference convinced me that it has to be possible to develop such a method in the coming years."
"“ Auke Schaefers-Okkens, DVM, PhD, Dipl-ECAR, renowned veterinary researcher from the Netherlands
In separate news, EsterilSolTM from Ark Sciences, a product providing permanent sterilization for male dogs through a single treatment, is now available in Mexico and for limited use in other countries. Ark Sciences provided training in EsterilSol administration and veterinarians from international animal aid programs shared their field experiences and advice with those interested in using this technology.
"The symposium was invigorating and refreshing. I have come back to Kenya ready to get down to work to make a difference in the lives of the thousands of stray and unwanted dogs and cats in the country, armed with new information on spay/neuter campaigns as well as powerful and effective new drugs."
"“ Ismail Thoya Ngoka, BVM, Kenya Society for the Protection and Care of Animals
In addition to general sessions, two symposium tracks were offered to build on these developments: the Michelson Prize & Grants Track focused on science to create new tools, and the Field Implementation Track explored special considerations for feral and free-roaming cats and ways to put existing tools to effective use.
Linda Rhodes, VMD, PhD, vice president of AlcheraBio, LLC, and chair of the ACC&D Board of Directors, summarized the event: "This symposium clearly demonstrated the worth of bringing the key people together that are needed to discover, develop and demonstrate the value of non-surgical alternatives to spay/neuter for cats and dogs. I was particularly moved by the international efforts for pet population control, and applaud the dedication and perseverance of those 'in the field.' The need for a good alternative couldn't be clearer, and with the inspiration of the Michelson Prize & Grants, we are attracting world class scientists to help tackle this problem. This meeting demonstrated fresh resolve and resources to make progress toward the goal of safe and effective products that will make a real difference."
Special thanks: ACC&D's 4th International Symposium would not have been possible without the support of its sponsors. Many thanks to presenting partner Found Animals Foundation and sponsors ASPCA, Humane Society of the United States, Animal Assistance Foundation, Erika Brunson and the Coalition for Pets & Public Safety, Parsemus Foundation, Best Friends Animal Society, Petfinder.com Foundation, Ark Sciences, LLC, Petco Foundation, World Society for the Protection of Animals, PetSmart Charities, Handsel Foundation, Summerlee Foundation, Morris Animal Foundation, Elinor Patterson Baker Trust, Elanco Animal Health, AlcheraBio, LLC, Marian's Dream, Intervet Schering-Plough Animal Health and SPAY Colorado.
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