World Horse Welfare urges supporters to sign petition calling on the European Union to stop the import of products containing the hormone, PMSG, which is produced from the blood of pregnant mares subjected to horrendous practices.
A new report on recent investigations undertaken by Germany’s Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) has uncovered apparently brutal practices at so called ‘blood farms’ in Uruguay where blood is harvested from pregnant mares for use in veterinary drugs.
The video (which can be viewed here) reveals a number of horrific findings. Semi-feral mares are shown being violently handled and roughly restrained while their blood is collected, before being turned out into paddocks – apparently weak and exhausted. Even more disturbing is the fact that the mares’ pregnancies are routinely, manually aborted with no pain relief, care or compassion.
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- Footage from AWF shows the stalls where blood is extracted
This terrible abuse is said to be for the production of a hormone, PMSG, which is used in veterinary drugs to stimulate and synchronise oestrus in millions of farm animals. World Horse Welfare is disgusted and appalled at the findings of this latest report which raises serious questions as to what regulations are in place to protect these helpless mares, how they are being enforced and how such products could be available in Europe.
A petition from Avaaz.org calling on the European Union to stop the import of these products has already collected more than 1.5 million signatures but a renewed push is now needed and World Horse Welfare is supporting the campaign – urging as many people as possible to sign and share this vital petition .
-AWF's investigation found bones and remains of horses littering vast forest pastures belonging to the blood farms visited
World Horse Welfare Chief Executive Roly Owers said:
“The AWF’s film is simply sickening to watch –a complete affront to even the most basic principles of horse welfare. The alleged systematic, repeated manual abortions of these mares’ foals are particularly ethically reprehensible. The AWF’s findings raise serious questions about whether the horses are adequately protected within existing regulations around PMSG production, and whether the EU should be importing products derived from such brutality.
“That is why we are supporting this petition to European Union institutions to reconsider allowing imports of PMSG into the EU while there are such extreme concerns. However, even with higher standards, we remain to be convinced that horse welfare could ever be truly protected in PMSG production and if the drug is needed, more and improved synthetic alternatives have to be found or different farm animal management practices adopted.”
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