Sadly this cruel industry has now migrated to China, where there are no humane animal laws. H.S.I. is tracking the farms. The only way to end this industry is for women to become educated and not take hormone replacement that is made from pregnant mares urine.
PMU stands for "pregnant mare’s urine." The urine of pregnant mares is used in the manufacturing of Premarin, the female hormone replacement. This industry is located mostly in Canada, in the region of Manitoba, close to the Wyeth-Ayerst pharmaceutical company that manufactures Premarin. Since research has proven that Premarin causes cancer in women, there has been a decline in the production of the hormone. Consequently, over the last few years, over 300 PMU ranches have been closed. Only 70 are still in operation.
PMU ranchers usually chose a specific type of horse to breed, as they have to keep so many mares pregnant in order to collect the urine. Foals are a by-product of this business, so they might as well be foals that can be sold. Some PMU ranchers treat this as a breeding business, as well as a urine production business. So when the decision to close is made, many mares (and foals) are in need of adoptive homes. Slaughter is still legal in Canada, so there is always the fear of these horses going to slaughter if they cannot find adoptive homes. The Animal Farm, located in Santa Maria, north of Santa Barbara, specializes in finding adoptive homes for these horses. Every year Jennifer and Cheryl make the trip to Canada. They visit the ranches which have closed or are closing, photograph the horses in need of homes, then post on http://www.pmurescue.org/ as well as on their own website. 2,300 horses have found homes via pmurescue.org. The Animal Farm has placed 1000 horses. Jennifer and Cheryl also bring horses to their ranch, where they spend some time in training with Monty Roberts. Visit the Animali Farm Rescue website. See for yourself what amazing work these ladies do and make a donation.
United Pegasus Foundation in southern California also rescues PMU foals. They have rescued 2980 foals and 2000 mares since 1996. These mares and foals have been rescued both directly from ranchers and from slaughter. According to United Pegasus, many of the foals produced in isolated regions of central Canada have almost no chance to find homes as sport horses, working horses, or pets. So for the ranchers who do not advertise their foals for sale, slaughter is the option. The two to five-month-old foals are taken from their mothers in early September and sent to auctions where they are sold by the pound to meatpackers. United Pegasus representatives have observed the Manitoba horsemeat auctions since 1996 and, although over 1200 foals were rescued, it is heartbreaking to witness thousands of innocent foals destined to slaughter. Until the Premarin industry is abolished, there will always be a need for the rescue of both the mares that are no longer able to be bred and, of course, the foals.
At the time of writing, United Pegasus were in Canada conducting rescues of mare and foals, some already at the slaughterhouse. United Pegasus also has PMU mares and foals of various ages available for adoption. Many are Belgian, Draft, and Percheron. They are beautiful! Please visit United Pegasus to learn more, see the horses, and make a donation.
To learn more, visit Premarin.org
Nurse mare foals below from left to right: Clyde, Moose, and Shiloh, rescued by Adopt-a-Foal.