Italian Horse Protection has sent a report to the Italian Competition and Markets Authority regarding the promotion of mare's milk by Equimilk, which bases its commercial policies on the alleged anti-Covid properties of this product.
The equimilk.it website and the Facebook page of 'Equimilk - Mare's milk' both highlight the lactoferrin content of mare's milk and cite a study by the University of Tor Vergata in Rome, according to which lactoferrin, by reducing the amount of iron in the body, would deprive Covid-19 of the nutrients it needs to survive and thus prevents it from spreading.
‘The Tor Vergata study does not have any appreciable scientific conclusions and is based on a hypothesis that has yet to be verified: therefore, as of today, it is simply not reliable,’ – says IHP President, Sonny Richichi -. ‘However, in the emotional wake of the news, some ‘wise guys” had in recent months begun to produce lactoferrin-based supplements and promote them on the market. Equimilk did the same by advertising mare's milk. Following denials and backtracking by the Tor Vergata researchers, the advertising of lactoferrin as an 'anti-Covid ally' has faded. Except for Equimilk, which still maintains the same scientifically unfounded arguments on its website and Facebook page.
‘Dr Falconi, a vet and owner of the company, claims that mare's milk is recommended for infants and children as a substitute for breast milk. Here again she is resoundingly contradicted by an article published in 2018 by various doctors and researchers in the Journal of Paediatric Immunology, where among other things it states that mare's and donkey's milk cannot be taken into consideration in the first year of life, especially if they are not modified to make them more suitable for the energy and nutritional needs of infants’”, continues the president of IHP who adds:
‘Apart from the question of the alleged false advertising, there is another important aspect to consider, which is ethics: the production of mare's milk, like that of other animals, is based on the theft of milk from the legitimate beneficiaries, which in this case are the foals, and their subsequent sale almost always for slaughter, as one of the farm managers told us on the phone. Starting from its second month of life, the foal is deprived of the possibility of suckling for a few hours a day, even by muzzling it.. Nowadays, many doctors and consumers have realised that giving a human the milk of other animal species not only has no advantage, but can even have negative effects on health, as well as representing a form of animal slavery and continuous suffering due to the separation of mother and foal, which is unjustifiable in a civilised society. In this context, putting a new product like this on the market is anachronistic and is, in our opinion, a form of unacceptable exploitation that we are ready to oppose by every means possible," concludes Richichi.