(EnviroNews World News) — Washington D.C. — Friends of Animals (FoA), the non-profit, international animal advocacy organization, announced on May 19, 2015, that they had filed a legal petition with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) compelling the agency to rescind its registration of the sterility-inducing pesticide porcine zona pellucida, or PZP for American wild horses.
FoA argues that use of the pesticide is unusually cruel and leads to unintended health and behavioral consequences for targeted mares and wild horses in general. They also say that EPA’s approval of PZP likely violates the Wild Horse and Burro Act (WHBA) of 1971 — a law that says verbatim, “wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment or death.”
In its release FoA highlights how the chemical was registered in 2012, and a license given to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to be utilized for wild horse population control — a move that FoA says wasn’t very humane at all.
FoA also alleges that the primary data submitted to EPA to obtain the permit was compiled by a veterinary who manufactures the drug. “The majority of research submitted by HSUS was published by Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick, a veterinarian who manufactures PZP, and did not consider the biological, social and behavioral effects the drug can have on wild horses,” the release states.
Friends of Animals also filed another legal petition last year with the Department of the Interior (DOI) demanding it list American wild horses under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) — a demand that so far has fallen on deaf ears.
DOI has been sluggish in the past when it comes to listing species in peril. The group of environmental lawyers at WildEarth Guardians is well known for its decade long legal battle with U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFS), an arm of DOI, for its failure to list approximately 800 imperiled species under ESA. That case came to a head in 2011 with a successful outcome for WildEarth Guardians, and resulted in USFW agreeing to move forward on the listing of hundreds of species.
History would suggest that a legal action may be necessary to get DOI to move on the listing of wild horses, or any particular embattled species for that matter.
The entire FoA press release addressing EPA’s registration of the wild horse population controlling pesticide PZP is below: