What is Premarin?…as the name implies, Premarin is a conjugated
estrogen product extracted from PREGNANT MARES URINE - hence
Pre mar in. It is manufactured by Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories,
Inc. and is most commonly prescribed for estrogen replacement
therapy to relieve hormonal deficiency symptoms associated
with menopause. It also is sold under the name Prempro.
There are an estimated 500 PMU farms in North America, with
the vast majority located in the prairie provences of Western
Canada. About 30 PMU farms exist in North Dakota and Minnesota.
Almost all PMU farms are under an exclusive contract with Wyeth-Ayerst.
The mares are kept in deplorable conditions. They enter collection
barns in September and remain until March or April. Each mare
is kept tethered in a narrow stall with a rubber cup positioned
over her vulva to collect the urine flow. The cup is held in
place by overhead supports and a partial body harness. The
tether and collection apparatus greatly restrict movement and
the mare is unable to turn around or take more than a step
or two in any direction. If the tether is too short, she may
even be unable to lie down comfortably.
Reliable estimates indicate there are at least 50,000 production
mares on PMU farms accounting for the annual birth of approximately
40,000 offspring. The byproducts of Premarin production are
the foals born to these unfortunate mares. The foals are allowed
to nurse and be with their mothers for only three to four months
- instead of the normal six-month period. When the time comes
for the mares to return to the collection barns, the farmers
dispose of surplus foals. Thousands of foals are sent to unsheltered
feedlots until they reach a desirable market weight and then
they are slaughtered and their carcasses are shipped to Europe
and Asia for human consumption.
The conditions the mares and foals are kept in are horrendous.
Inspection reports document a number of significant problems -
confinement for six months of their 11-month pregnancy, no exercise,
no interaction with other horses, inadequate bedding, no grooming
and the feet are usually neglected. They are even denied adequate
water to keep the urine in a more concentrated stage and, therefore,
reduce shipping costs of the urine.
I urge you to share this information with anyone you know
who is either on Premarin or is thinking of using a hormone
replacement drug. There are many, many drugs on the market
that are either synthetic or plant based which give the same
results as Premarin. Premarin is the only drug that is animal
H.O.R.S.E. of CT conducts a fund-raising drive each summer
to raise funds to save some of these Premarin foals. If you
would like to be on our mailing list and would like to share
our Premarin letter with friends, please send us your address.
Our on-going struggle is, of course, financial. Membership
dues, as well as donations, large and small, are what have
helped H.O.R.S.E. of CT rescue hundreds of horses, including
Premarin's, over the past 20 years.
Slaughter in the name of Premarin is barbaric. We need your help
to get the word out to stop this useless practice. Be the voice
for these abused horses and foals.