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Drugs produced in Iceland with the torture of pregnant mares

22/11/2021

IHP president Richichi: “It's a mess. After the protests over the lagers in South America pharmaceutical companies get around the obstacle. The European Commission should wake up and say ‘Enough’ ”.

Drugs produced in Iceland with the torture of pregnant mares

The investigation conducted by a global network of associations reveals the horror in the heart of Europe.

Lagers with horses tortured and sent to death in the heart of Europe, in the very civilized Iceland, which is sold to the world as the cradle of well-being and respect for animals: the long and accurate investigation conducted by the international network of animal rights associations to which  IHP (Italian Horse Protection) belongs to, coordinated by the Italian-Swiss AWF-TSB (the Animal Welfare Foundation), shows that in Iceland the conditions of suffering and abuse of pregnant mares from which the hormone PMSG is extracted - (Pregnant Mare Serum Gonadotropin, in Italy known as Gonadotropina serica equina) used in intensive pig farming - are the same as in Argentina and Uruguay.

"PMSG is a hormone extracted from the blood of pregnant mares that is used to produce drugs used in intensive farms for the production of meat, mainly pork: it serves to increase the fertility of sows and produce a greater number of piglets for slaughter” - explains the IHP President, Sonny Richichi -.  “Investigations conducted in recent years by animal welfare organizations have shown the torture to which mares are subjected in the main world production hubs of the PMSG, Argentina and Uruguay. The global outrage and the strong protests that have arisen after the spread of the investigations in which we have actively participated have meant that many pharmaceutical companies have declared that they no longer use PMSG imported from South America: they said they had replaced it with hormones produced in Europe, but without providing further details. Here, the details are shown now by this investigation by AWF: they are chilling because in Iceland the conditions of the mares are the same as in Argentina and Uruguay. And it is even more serious because we are in Europe, where there are rules that prohibit these practices”.

Mares spend a lifetime between pregnancies, abortions and torture. They are repeatedly impregnated, but in most cases they miscarry due to extremely weak physical conditions. When they manage to carry the pregnancy to term, the male foals are sent to the slaughterhouse, while the females follow the fate of the mothers. When they are no longer pregnant, the mares are also sent to slaughter. The animals are usually beaten and live in lagers without any shelter from the bad weather. It happens that mares collapse after blood extraction. "5 liters of blood is also taken from the mares per week for 6-8 weeks in the period between 40 and 140 days of gestation, while international guidelines say that the maximum blood that can be extracted for experimental purposes should be equal to about 3 liters every 4 weeks”, explains Richichi.

“In Iceland this happens: semi-wild animals are subjected to mistreatment, violent conduct by inadequately trained personnel and lacking the professional qualifications that would be necessary to perform certain roles. Mares and foals live in a state of constant panic and terror, suffer and then end up slaughtered. All this happens in Iceland, where there are blatantly violated animal welfare regulations. It also happens in Europe, where there is the principle that wherever there is the possibility of using alternative tools or active ingredients to the animal ones, they should be given preference. In Germany there are as many as 36 patented drugs with synthetically produced active ingredients similar to PMSG. It happens by making fun of the 'Farm to Fork' document approved in recent times by a very large majority by the European Parliament which contains, among other things, the request for a ban on imports and production of the PMSG in Europe”, adds the president of IHP.

 "Iceland has built part of its image as a civilized and advanced country thanks to the presence of the Icelandic horse on its territory, a millenary breed and one of the oldest in the world to which it boasts of offering well-being and protection. But it is the same country where over 5 thousand mares are made to suffer to their death in an industry that in recent years has recorded ever-increasing numbers.  However, due to the fact that after the protests over the conditions of horses in South America, many pharmaceutical companies have begun to request for an alternative production of this hormone,”continues Richichi.

IHP, which represents Italy in the global network coordinated by AWF, launched a petition last April to ask the Minister of Health Roberto Speranza to ban the marketing of Fixplan in Italy, a drug produced by the Argentine company Syntex with the extraction of the PMSG from tortured mares: the petition collected over 33 thousand signatures.

The IHP association had also obtained the bipartisan questions promoted among others by the honorable Michela Vittoria Brambilla (Forza Italia), Patrizia Prestipino (Pd) and Manfredi Potenti (Lega Nord) and the commitment of MEPs Eleonora Evi, Rosa D'Amato, Piernicola Pedicini and Ignazio Corrao.

"We turn once again to citizens to ask them to raise their voices against this massacre and to our political representatives in Italy and Europe to take action quickly and forcefully to ask for an immediate ban on both imports from third world countries and of the production in the EU territory of the PMSG”, concludes the president of IHP.

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