Premarin: Good or Bad

April 6, 2011
Premarin: Good or Bad

Premarin has been helping women for many years, but is hurting and killing horses. Premarin was created in 1942 and still thrives today. There are 431 PMU farms in Canada and the United States. Premarin is used to lessen the effects of menopause. Every day many horses die from the practice of collecting pregnant mares’ urine. The estrogen in the mares’ urine is what lessens the effects of menopause. Pregnant mares’ urine should not be used to make Premarin. This method causes injury and sometime death to the horses, the living conditions are inhumane, and there are different ways to make Premarin without hurting horses while still lessening the effects of menopause.

PMU farms leave the horses mentally and physically hurt, the horses are not treated well; they are beaten by some of the humans. When one of the horses leaves a PMU farm (when it is rescued) it is almost always traumatized. “PMU horses are scared to death of humans!” (Nitchman). The horses are also physically injured, making them even more scared of humans. There are often open wounds on the mares’ legs that are caused by the urine collection device. These wounds are usually not treated which then become infected. This can affect the horses’ health greatly. The foals are sent to slaughter, “classified as ‘Feeder Horses’ by the USDA” (“The Beginning of the End?”). The foals are sold for food in some countries and put into dog food in others. The foals are sent to slaughter because there is no need for them at the PMU farms and it is more money for the farm manager. The stallions a there for breeding, but they are also greatly effected. The stallions are kept at the farms for the rest of their lives, never experiencing a good healthy life.

The living conditions at these PMU farms are inhumane. The mares have little space to move. Standing in one position sometimes makes the horses lame or stocked up (there muscles are tight and swelling accurse). The mares are tied in small areas; “Mares are kept throughout their last six months of their pregnancy just 8 feet long, 31/2 feet wide and 5 feet tall stall!” (“The Beginning of the End?”). The small area does not let the mare’s move much making it better for collecting the mare’s urine. The life as a PMU horse is very hard for mares especially. For six months of each year the horses are in a pasture, while the other sixe months they are tied up in a small box stall. “A filly foal has less than 1 in 10 chance of not going to slaughter, a colt foal, less than 1 in 50!” (“The Beginning of the End?”). Stallions are bought and sold; the bigger the stallions the more urine the impregnated mare will have. “A foal is taken away from its mother only weeks after being born” (“Premarin Facts & Opinions”). Taking a mares foal away puts stress on her because she is wondering where her baby is.

There is an alternative way to make Premarin. It saves many the lives of horses each and every day. There is a generic way to make Premarin that mimics Premarin’s effect on women. The generic form is made in a lab and is not made with any animal products. It works just the same as Premarin, lessening the effects of menopause. The generic form costs less and saves women a lot of money each year. Although the generic form is better the market for it is not very good. “The generic version was created in the 1970’s and 1980’s” (”Premarin Facts & Opinions”). Doctors should try to prescribe more of the generic form instead of Premarin itself. Wyeth-Ayerst (the company that makes Premarin) is trying to keep the generic form off the market; if it were made available people wouldn’t buy as much of their product. “Many people use the generic form instead of the ‘Pill that Kills’” (Stepp). The generic form is off the market for the time being, but it is making a come back.

It is clear the practice of collecting pregnant mares’ urine is not the right way to make Premarin or to treat menopause. The negative effects and the inhumane living conditions are killing horses every day, but people can save these horses by using the generic form of Premarin. Premarin does lessen the effects of menopause but it is really worth it, killing mares, foals and stallions? Think twice before using Premarin and think about the helpless horses being killed every day.





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