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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 20 June 2001 Issue:

"The Horror Moan"
Use of Horses in Scientific Research

Horses are not used in scientific research in the same way as many other species, such as rats, who are housed in laboratories by the millions and used in the testing of new pharmaceutical drugs and other treatments for human disease. Rather, horses serve the pharmaceutical industry by supplying one of the ingredients used in making an estrogen replacement drug called Premarin for post-menopausal women. That ingredient is derived from the high concentration of estrogen contained in the urine of pregnant mares. -* "hence the name PREgnant MARes, urINe"

Mares used for urine collection are often kept in confined conditions that have been severely criticized by animal protection groups. The urine is collected from artificially inseminated mares during six of the 11 months of their pregnancy, from October to March.

Throughout this time period, the mares are kept in intensive confinement in tiny stalls with metal bars on three sides at PMU (Pregnant Mare Urine) farms. The mares are tethered to the front of stalls measuring just 3-1/2 to 5 feet wide and 85 feet long. During the time that they are producing the most estrogen, they are unable to take more than a step or two in any direction, turn around or even lie down comfortably. When the mares become old, infertile or crippled, they are auctioned off for slaughter.

The vast majority of PMU farms are located in Canada. Approximately 80,000 pregnant mares are confined on PMU farms, and their foals, a by-product of the urine collection process, are often sold for slaughter, and the flesh is exported for human consumption in Europe and Japan.

The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) found that the conditions on these farms do not meet the basic standard for humane care of horses.

The WSPA has documented a number of concerns, including:

Even while mares are suffering terribly, the value of Premarin-and estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) in general-in preventing heart disease and osteoporosis in women remains uncertain. The drug has also come under attack for its possible role in increasing the risk of breast cancer.

Nonanimal alternatives are available for women who are considering estrogen replacement therapy to alleviate the symptoms of menopause. These include synthetic and vegetable-based derivatives (which contain no animal products whatsoever).

One such replacement, drug which has proved highly successful, is Cenestrin a synthetic Premarin. Also Estrace and Ogen are quite effective in relieving the symptoms of menopause.

It is important that woman take control of their own bodies and talk to their doctors about these alternatives to Premarin, a true "Horror Moan."

*Quote: Susan Wagner Horses abused to make menopausal drug for woman NAVS Animal Action report, Spring 2000

Source: Navs,50,18,36,0&CFID=454310&CFTOKEN=35002677

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