"We are not spiritually unconnected from the drugs we take, or from the pain and suffering that goes into their making." -Alice Walker
"Im not an animal-rights person. If I felt Premarin was the best product, Id say take it and to hell with the horses. But it isnt, so I dont prescribe it."
Dr. Phillip Warner, director of the Menopause Institute of Northern California
This year, approximately 75,000 mares throughout North Dakota and Canada will be impregnated and confined to cramped stalls so their estrogen-rich urine can be collected. Most of the foals will be killed before their first birthday.
To produce Premarin, pregnant mares are tethered to the front of stalls measuring just 3 1/2 to 5 feet wide and 8 feet long. For six months, while their bodies are producing the most estrogen, these mares are unable to take more than a step or two in any direction, turn around, or even lie down comfortably. Lameness often develops. Mares are forced to wear cumbersome rubber urine-collection bags, which chafe their legs and cause sores, 24 hours a day to collect their urine. They are also denied free access to water so that their urine will yield more concentrated estrogens. This can lead to renal and liver problems and cause the mares to struggle and injure themselves during water-distribution times to get to the water they so desperately crave.
So that they can be put right back into production the next winter, the mares are reimpregnated within days of giving birth. A few months after giving birth, they are separated from their foals and put back on the "pee line." Fertile mares may go through this same grueling cycle year after year. When the mares become old, infertile, or crippled, they are auctioned off for slaughter.
CALL - 1-800-KNOW-PMU, for more information on Premarin