A video from an undercover investigation posted by Animals Angels USA (AA) with footage from EU’s Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) has revealed the shocking and horrific way pregnant mares are treated at blood farms – farms where horses are being raised for one reason only: to drain their blood and sell it for multi-million dollar profits.
While this is legally allowed, these farms often mistreat the animals (beating them with sticks and using electric prods) and disregard common sense when it comes to the amount of blood taken and frequency of this procedure, making this practice even more tragic, activists say.
For a horse to stay healthy, no more than 15-20% of its blood should be taken during a 4-week period. However, these farms take as much as 10 liters of blood at a time, which is almost a quarter of a horse’s blood. Many horses end up anemic, sick, or even drop dead.
The pharmaceutical companies take horses’ blood in order to extract the PMSG (Pregnant Mare Serum Gonadotropin) hormone in it. This hormone is found in mares at the beginning of their pregnancies. Because of that, they are forced to have repeated abortions and pregnancies. Many suffer miscarriages as part of this cruel cycle.
The horses’ blood is widely used by the pig industry to achieve more efficient piglet production.
It is also used for biological research, diagnostic manufacturing and making veterinary drugs.
Some companies, such as Merck, Sharpe, and Dohme, have changed their policies (at least in Europe) since the first public outcry few years ago. But many companies still use the practice today, and are doing so without following regulations.
Blood farms are located in Uruguay and Argentina, but also in the U.S. Many of these farms have no supervisor, no enforcement of regulations, and no oversight, the AWF says.
“This bloody business has existed for thirty years. It is hidden, criminally organized and in hands of a few people. It is a lucrative business which operates in Uruguay and Argentina in acquiescence and without any controls,” states the AWF.
Because of this nightmarish practice, advocates are calling for the creation of a synthetic solution to use instead.
Meanwhile, various petitions are trying to influence the pharmaceutical industry to change how the hormone is obtained.
You can sign a petition here to stop IDT Biologika, a European company, from torturing horses.
To understand the full picture, watch the undercover video revealing everything that goes on at a blood farm (warning: graphic content):