Mothers "Milk"or Purely Profit
Before I go into the fine details of how the mares pictured are used, suffer and then thrown away I will apologise for the poor quality of the photos, because I am certain that gathering this and other evidence was very difficult and I have high praise for those who have done this and so much more for these poor horses and their offspring.
Premarin, Prempro, Premphase.
The above are the commercial names used for a compound that treats Menopause in women It is isolated from pregnant mares urine(PREgnant MARes'urINe).Manufactured by Pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and Wyeth it has been produced since 1942 and is available in oral and topical form.
These products have been and still are the subject of contention by Animal Welfare groups..........Unsurprising.
Wyeth and Pfizer merged in 2009 which caused huge disappoint to those hoping that the barbaric, inhumane and archaic processes that these mares and their offspring go through would finally be halted, at the very least downsized enormously.
Instead the cruelty continues and this is totally unnecessary as these three drugs can be produced in a laboratory.
It seems as usual that Profit overrides all.
A well known quotation was used by The Canadian Medical Journal in an article in 2002 which condemned the pharmaceutical giant:-" Oh what a tangled web we weave
When first we practise to deceive"
One of the main reasons for this was because the CMAJ concluded that the use of these drugs COULD increase the risk of Breast Cancer, Heart Disease, Heart Attacks, Strokes, Blood Clots and Dementia.
Where it comes from and the "by-products"
How the components of this drug are Harvested.
The above named drugs , used for HRT are harvested from pregnant mares urine.
The life these sensitive, dignified and beautiful animals lead is not only brutal and emotionally distressing but can lead to a shortened lifespan and around 25% of the mares have to be replaced every year. It must be said that they can live until 20yrs of age, but that is no great length of time for a species that can live to over 30yrs old and longer.
These mares are repeatedly impregnated and then spend a minimum of 6 months confined in stalls where they are unable to turn around, groom themselves(yes they do in normal circumstances), or lie down comfortably.The latter so important for a heavily pregnant mare as she needs to be able to take short periods off her legs and feet.
They are continually attached to "plumbing" during this enforced confinement which fits over the urethra, and held in place so tightly that it constricts movement, and causes bad rub marks and sores on the skin. They are also kept short of water , the reason, stronger urine produces more of the necessary attributes that go into making the drugs.
Preferred breeds are heavy draught mares, simply because the belief is the bigger the horse the more urine they produce.
Once these poor, abused animals can no longer produce the required amounts of urine or can no longer be got in foal they are thrown away like rubbish, going for slaughter. What happens to all their offspring is equally distressing!!
The surviving foals from these continually pregnant mares are dealt with in 2 or 3 ways, dependant on the Pee-Farm they are living, and on whether the regulatory checks that are supposed to be made are made.( yes , there are regulations governing the care of these animals.). These harmless, defenceless babies are either kept and then used to replace "useless" mares, fattened and sold for slaughter or, and I have this on good authority simply flung out to die after birth.
IN my opinion, and in many , many other peoples this practice is digraceful and disgusting., and to date although there has been a major reduction in North American Ranches "milking" pregnant mares the sale of drugs involved has not slumped.
This has to lead to the conclusion that somewhere these mares continue to be abused and their offspring either added to this appalling , unnecessary cycle, or meeting their end far too soon.
Whatever the case maybe, there are organisations out there who work hard, very hard to try to stop this happening and rescue , re home and care for these misused mares giving them at least a few years of happiness and freedom and teaching them that there are humans with hearts and not just wallets!!!