I've only been to two PMU Farms but have no problem with them. Both places were very well run and inspected, horses had regular vet checks and farrier work. Foals were by well bred stallions with performance records. Have been to many PMU foal sales and saw excellant stock.
Anti, but the industry has changed a lot since the PMU farms that most of us think of. When most of the contracts were cut (around the time the synthetic alternative came out), those who kept their production contracts had to sign on to an agreement not to sell any of their horses to slaughter, along with other restrictions and feed/healthcare standards. The majority of the remaining problem is the ex-PMU farms that didn't close when they lost their contracts, but kept breeding and marketing their foals as PMU rescues. Not to say that the conditions for horses still in the actual licensed PMU industry are great, but there are far less horses, and the ones you now see marketed as rescues (unless they were rescued 5+ years ago) are very unlikely to be actual PMU rescues because if the drug company got wind they would lose their contract. Hopefully someday soon they can all close and everyone can switch over the the synthetic, and other synthetics can be developed for people with allergies.
I have always thought it pretty interesting that the same folks who will scream, hollar, and adopt a holier than thou attitude against importing a warmblood from europe because a good bit of the u.s. horse industry is in dire straits and we have so many u.s. horses in need think it is just fine to import a pmu foal. wtf?
I'm against it, or atleast the way it used to be. A lady at my barn rescued a mare once that was pregnant and I helped her out with her sometimes. This poor mare had never heard of a treat, was freaked out to walk on concrete, and just grooming her scared her to death. It was obvious she was rarely handled and her feet were terrible. This kind lady took great care of her and the mare and her foal are both now living with her... Her foal is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen!
My mare was a PMU foal rescue. From what I understand about the industry now, things are a lot better than they used to be. As long as the mares are well kept and are bred responsibly (ie attention to bloodlines, conformation, etc.) so the foals have a shot, then I don't have a huge problem with it. My main concern is, as with everything else in life, the asshats who don't follow the regulations.
What Laurierace said. I'm not sure if your question is about the industry or about the mares and foals themselves? I have known a several now grown-up ex PMU foals, mostly draft crosses, who have grown up to be very useful individuals. They turn up quite regularly at horse dealers here in Northern New England.
I am writing a bill/essay for a school project about PMU mares and foals. I just wanted to see what the average horse person's opinion on the subject is. Thanks in advance!
I own a horse born on a PMU farm (he's in my profile pic, or here on youtube, heh). I'm not sure I'd say I'm "pro" PMU, but there is so much misleading information out there and it drives me crazy.
Keep in mind MUCH of the info on rescue sites or AR sites is incorrect and/or very outdated.
Horses are able to lie down, they are not kept dehydrated, and they do not use catheters.
I *BOUGHT* my horse, I did not rescue him. There are plenty of farms out there producing PMU who are responsible, breeding better quality animals so that they have better marketability, and who treat their animals pretty well. If I had not purchased my horse, someone else would have. If no one had, he would have stayed on the farm and been offered again as a yearling or two year old or started three year old.
At the same time, there are plenty of farms out there who DON'T even produce PMU anymore (they lost their contracts) but who continue to breed more horses than they can place (and not particularly good quality either), then contract with rescues to place their mares and babies. So this sort of muddies the issue.
As far as the entire industry goes, I view it as very similar to the dairy industry. Cows also have to have babies to produce milk, and frankly I think dairy cows are, in general, treated much worse than PMU mares are. Mares on the lines certainly aren't treated like pets- they are livestock producing a resource. But that doesn't mean they are abused either- horses have to be healthy to maintain their pregnancies and produce well. Most farms have a rotation, so that horses can stretch their legs. Barns are designed so horses can interact with each other and be social, and stalls are sized so that horses can lie down if they want. And as county mentioned, they are inspected frequently by veterinarians (one lady who ran a farm in ND, since closed, said she had four inspections per month- how many regular riding stables in the world are subject to that?)
In any case, you can find the industry standards of care, vet reports, etc, through http://www.naeric.org (yes, NAERIC might be a biased source of information, but I think is closer to reality- keep in mind that if farmers truly are profit driven, it's in their best interest to take good care of their animals, breed better foals, and market horses properly.)
You can also find links to the websites of the farms that produce PMU through that site- with some farms getting up to $3000 for their foals, I think it would be a mistake to assume all the foals are "byproduct."
Last edited by caffeinated; Feb. 9, 2009 at 11:00 AM.
"smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"
I won't be much help for your purpose, but I don't think the average horseman has any opinion whatsoever. I own a PMU mare that I purchased, she was not a rescue. I know I am not alone in doing this, I bought her from a farm that sells many, all the time, and for not that cheap. I am thankful for her-regardless how she came into the world. She is the nicest horse I've ever owned (in movement, tempermant, soundness, sanity, etc.) I wouldn't hesitate to buy from the same people again should something happen to my girl. However, I have mentioned to more people than I can count, when asked where I got her, the whole PMU thing (most of these people women) and they look at me blankly. I'm shocked at how many women don't know what drugs they are taking or where their medication comes from. The majority of people know what premarin is-a hormone replacement drug. Shockingly few (even horsewomen) know what it is derived from. That, in itself, tells me that the average person just doesn't care.
Don't toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!
Yes County I can see why that would be the case and those two things alone don't really say much, but I'm sure your horses aren't freaked out to be handled and that they are well taken care of, without hooves that are extremely overgrown and causing great pain.
I really haven't heard much about PMU in years and I've been doing some research today(I'm home sick) and it really does seem to be a much better industry that it was in the past, as it was when the mare I knew was rescued. She was from a farm that went under and all of the mares were left in horrible conditions without adequate feed or water, much less medical care. Her poor condition might have been (and probably was) due to the mishandling of that particular farm, that wasn't because it was a PMU farm.
Thank you everyone. I am talking about the industry itself. I have been researching online, and I found a lot of stuff that I figured is either extremely biased, or outdated. I realize that won't get the averag horseperson's view, I should have worded differently. I just want a broader view than what I have at my small barn. Thanks again.
There are relatively few true PMU farms left out there. What you have is a ton of EX-PMU farms who still breed "foal crops" (as they always have) for slaughter and the American adoption market. It's become a real scam.