Pregnant Mare Urine (P.M.U.) Industry
Used as hormone replacement therapy in women, estrogen is collected from mares on farms designed to produce the maximum amount of hormones for the lowest cost. The mares, usually draft or draft crosses, are impregnated and then confined to narrow stalls and fitted with urine collection bags. Mares are not allowed to lie down or turn around in the stalls, where they live for 6 months of their 11-month gestation period. They suffer from extreme boredom, lack of exercise and even water, as water is given sparingly so their urine is more concentrated. In their 11th month of pregnancy, mares are put out to pasture to give birth. The foals are viewed as a necessary but unprofitable by-product and are taken from their mothers as soon as they are able to be impregnated again, and then sold off--typically at auction where they face a high risk of being purchased for slaughter. Mares are bred every year until they are no longer productive and then face the same fate as their many foals.
The most commonly prescribed drugs made with P.M.U. are Premarin, PremPak, PremPhase and PremPro. Women on these drugs can talk to their doctors to learn about FDA-approved synthetic and plant-derived alternatives to these products. To learn more, click here.
Gretchen and Koda are from the P.M.U. industry (Gretchen as a broodmare and Koda as a foal)