Opposition to mares’ urine in HRT drug Premarin grows
by Betty Kowall
March 20, 2010
Despite the growing popularity of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) drugs such as Premarin and Prempro, opposition to them, specifically the manner in which they are harvested from pregnant mares, is also growing.
Tucson, United States – Premarin is a drug commonly used in hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women. According to the website premarin.com,
PREMARIN is a hormone therapy that contains a combination of estrogens. It can help you manage the symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness, as well as reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis (thin, weak bones).
Premarin is manufactured by Wyeth, now a division of the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. “Effective October 15, 2009 Pfizer Inc. acquired Wyeth in a cash and stock merger.” Premarin is produced from Pregnant Mares’ Urine, hence the name. However, according to the Bar-P website the manner in which the urine is collected and the pregnant mares are treated is unconscionable:
For most of their 11-month pregnancies, these horses are confined to stalls so small that they cannot turn around or take more than one step in any direction. The animals must wear rubber urine-collection bags at all times, which causes chafing and lesions, and their drinking water is limited so that their urine will yield more concentrated estrogen. Once the foals are born, the horses are re-impregnated; this cycle continues for about 12 years.
Equine Voices was founded in 2004 by Karen Pomroy to rescue pregnant mares and their foals from Premarin farms. Otherwise, the horses face a painful life. According to Pomroy, the horses are kept in too small facilities with water withheld to produce more concentrated urine. They are then sent to slaughterhouses and sold overseas for human consumption. Equine Voices hosts charity events around North America to raise funds for their lobbying and rescue efforts. Earlier this month they hosted the annual “A Very Special Horse Event” fundraiser in Tucson, Arizona’s Brandi Fenton Memorial Park on River Road. The event featured, Detective Therese DesChene from the Pima County Sheriff Department’s Animal Crimes division, Animal Cruelty Task Force co-chairman Mike Duffey and special celebrity guest Michael Blake, who wrote the script for the movie “Dances With Wolves.”