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The Exploitation of Horses for Drug Manufacturing

Friends of Animals has been a driving force behind the effort to educate menopausal women about the cruelty behind hormone replacement therapy (HRT) drugs made from the urine of pregnant horses. Millions of women who have been prescribed the HRT drugs Premarin and Prempro are unaware that these drugs are derived from the urine of pregnant mares who are forced to stand tied in narrow stalls for months at a time while their urine is being collected.

Restrained in a condition of almost total immobility for six months, the mares cannot stretch, turn, or lie down comfortably. Every fall, tens of thousands of foals born to these mares are sold to slaughter. Living by-products of the lucrative pregnant mare"s urine (PMU) industry, these babies are of little value to anyone but meat buyers. There are about 500 urine collection farms in Canada and the U.S.

A Friends of Animals investigation uncovered the expansion of this industry in the United States, the result of a U.S. company"s plans to market a generic version of Premarin. FoA investigators obtained exclusive video footage from inside one of the company"s Midwestern PMU collection barns. Click here to read the investigative report.

FoA"s educational campaign has reached thousands. FoA members read about the issue in our ActionLine magazine and other reports, and hundreds of people accessing our Web site every day learn about PMU production and what can be done stop it. We have distributed information packets with photos and video footage to newspapers, magazines, and television stations worldwide.

Activists have ordered thousands of copies of our educational pamphlet, "Pregnant Mare"s Urine: A Bitter Pill to Swallow." We continue to receive many calls and notes from women who have dropped Prempro or Premarin after learning about the industry. Sales of Premarin and Prempro declined dramatically following a study linking long-term use of Prempro to an increased risk of heart disease and breast cancer. A subsequent study found a connection between the use of Prempro and mental damage.

FoA has taken advantage of the ensuing international focus on HRT to publicize another good reason to stop taking these drugs, and to educate women about the many synthetic and plant-based alternatives to drugs made from animal urine.