The last PMU (pregnant mare’s urine) facility operating in N. America — in Canada — is reportedly closing down. This has been a long time coming.
However, while that sounds like good news, HRT (hormone replacement therapy) drugs made from pregnant mare’s urine is on the rise in China where millions of women are already taking forms of it.
China is also where most of the world’s pregnant mare’s urine farms are.
Pregnant mares are repeatedly impregnated and milked for their urine in revolting conditions. The foals are immediately disposed of, often sent to local restaurants to be turned into “fresh off the hoof” dishes. Or, like the mares who can no longer get pregnant, are sent straight to a slaughterhouse. There are no rescues we know of for these horses anywhere in China.
We must educate the women of China about these drugs and where they come from. Sensitivity to animal cruelty is on the rise and trending big in all but the most remote areas of China.
We are excited to announce that we now have a strong set of enthusiastic volunteers in China to get the word out. And television has begun reporting what we are doing. We feel it is critical that we continue to build on what we have achieved.
The Georgia equine industry is a healthy and growing segment of the state’s economy. There are more than 74,000 horses in Georgia today, and the breeding and care of these horses has an economic impact of more than $750 million dollars each year. UGA Extension provides resources to help further Georgia’s growing reputation in horse production.
While Georgia isn’t one of the top ten horse producing states in terms of sheer numbers, the quality of Georgia’s horses and horse facilities has received national recognition. Over the years, many well-established trainers have moved their operations to Georgia, taking advantage of the temperate climate.
The most common breeds include Quarter Horses, Tennessee Walkers, Paints, American Saddles and Appaloosas.
One would think that the good people of Georgia would certainly want to protect such a precious asset as the horse, and do right by them morally and physically.
The clue may be in the breeds of horses in Georgia.
Both the American Quarter Horse and the Tennessee Walking Horse are highly popular in Georgia, and typically speaking, their breeders do not generally cast a friendly eye toward the banning of horse slaughter.
However, there is also a hugely serious human element that goes beyond protecting the horses, and a highly moral one. And that is . . .
The drugs American horses are routinely given throughout their lives bar their meat from entering the human food chain, containing known, proven carcinogens deadly to human human health.
If you are a Georgia resident, please contact your U.S. Representative. It will only take about 10 minutes. Really!
Tim Sullivan, writing for the Louisville Courier-Journal states:
Of the 25 racetracks that share their casualty counts with the public, only one was more deadly last year than Churchill Downs.
And despite its recent rash of gloomy headlines, it wasn’t Santa Anita.
Only Illinois’ Hawthorne Race Course lost horses at a faster pace than Churchill Downs did in 2018, according to the Jockey Club’s Equine Injury Database.
Over the past three years, only the boutique meet conducted at California’s Sonoma County Fair exceeded Churchill’s race-related mortality rate.
Unlike its Kentucky colleagues at Keeneland and Turfway Park, Churchill Downs does not publicly disclose its racing fatalities, but a spokesman for the track confirmed figures obtained through a public records request of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
Those records show the home of the Kentucky Derby has lost 43 thoroughbreds to racing injuries since 2016, a 2.42 per 1,000-start average that was 50 percent higher than the national average during the same three-year span.
Last year, with 16 fatalities in 5,856 starts, Churchill’s death rate was higher still: 2.73 per 1,000.
Ruben Hernandez, writing for the Louisville Courier-Journal on this year’s Run for the Roses observes:
To argue that other horses were put danger is an issue that should be taken up with the management of Churchill Downs because 20 horses don’t enter themselves into the race. Based on this logic, one would have to conclude that a field of this size is put in danger once the gates open.
There is no “fix”. Certainly not one that can be done quickly with any type of regulation. The horse has “bolted” so to speak. It will take years of clean breeding to return racehorses to the durability and robustness required. In saying that, it very well may be too late for American bred horses.
US racehorses are suffering catastrophic breakdowns and deaths because of decades long chemical abuse. They are administered a virtual unending list of drugs from the time they are foaled until they reach a racecourse — if they ever arrive there. This over zealous drugging has a debilitating impact which is being passed on from offspring to offspring. Weakness and unsoundness are being bred in.
We are right on the money, but don’t take our word for it. Consider these words:
“Chemical horses produce chemical babies. Performance-enhancing drugs must be banned if we are going to survive as an industry and if thoroughbreds are going to survive as a robust breed.”
– Arthur Hancock
Breeder of Three Kentucky Derby Winners
2008 US Triple Crown hopeful Big Brown, seen winning the Kentucky Derby above, received regularly monthly treatments of Winstrol, an anabolic steroid banned in 10 states—yet in none of the states where the Triple Crown horse races are contested.
The current state of horse racing in North America is best described as a volatile cocktail fueled by economic greed together with increasingly fragile horses and pervasive drug administration that has transformed this once distinguished “Sport of Kings” into a controversial, much maligned commercial industry rife with abuse and disregard for its athletes.
Here are three things we are doing for PMU — or Premarin — horses right now:
1. Lobbying the FDA with the help of a specialist firm to return the word “equine” on all Premarin type drugs so it reads “conjugated equine estrogens” the way it did, and should*.
2. Working in China with a massive social media campaign warning women against the dangers of the Premarin family of drugs. This is where most of the horses are and where the largest volume of Premarin type drugs are being used.
3. Leafleting across the U.S. at women’s hospitals and clinics warning women about the dangers of the Premarin family of drugs and educating them on alternatives (expanding into Canada with your help).
This work is informative and necessary, and potentially life saving for women and the mares and foals used to make the drug then cast off.