TORONTO – Animal welfare organisations from 14 countries, supported by the European umbrella organisation Eurogroup for Animals, are demanding an end to the animal suffering caused by the production and use of pregnant mare serum gonadotropin (PMSG).
PMSG is a fertility hormone that comes from the blood of horses, who are subjected to a cycle of pregnancy and abortion, and having their blood drained until their bodies are too weak to continue. Factory farms drug mother pigs with PMSG to synchronize animal births and produce larger litters, which leads to higher profits for farms.
In a new investigation, promoted in Canada by Animal Justice, the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) and Tierschutzbund Zürich (TSB) visited South American blood farms, where up to ten liters of blood are taken from pregnant mares every week, for a period of twelve weeks, twice a year.
Animal welfare organisations from Germany, France, Spain, Denmark, Poland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Uruguay, Argentina, Canada and the USA, together with Eurogroup for Animals, are calling on the European Commission to finally take action. Since 2015, the AWF and TSB have been reporting about the cruel conditions on blood farms in Argentina and Uruguay. As a result, four out of five European pharmaceutical companies have stopped the import of PMSG from South America. In October 2021, the European Parliament called on the European Commission in a resolution to stop the import and production of PMSG in the European Union. The Commission is yet to act.
“From today’s perspective, PMSG is a hormone from the ideology of the 80’s. The idea at the time was to ensure food security for the population with cheap pork. Today, the massive negative effects of factory farming on animal welfare, human health, climate and environment are well known. PMSG is a booster for a misguided agricultural policy. A ban on PMSG would follow the logic of the European Green Deal and its Farm to Fork Strategy”, said Sabrina Gurtner, Project Manager, AWF / TSB.
Canadian national animal law organization Animal Justice is also calling on Canada to close its borders to PMSG. Hormonal drugs made from PMSG are approved for use in Canada, and are given to mother pigs to trick their bodies into producing larger litters of piglets.
Trailer “PMSG – hormone of double misery”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wM6HCq3Cbcc
Documentary about blood farms in South America: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OX4qu1zJzw
Animal Welfare Foundation project page: https://www.animal-welfare-foundation.org/en/projekte/blood-farms/south-america
Eurogroup for Animals press release: https://www.eurogroupforanimals.org/news/cruel-hormone-production-south-america-european-animal-breeding-farms
Executive Director, Animal Justice
Project Manager, AWF / TSB