06. Oktober 2017


Earlier this year, EU agriculture ministers were urged to ban a veterinary drug for pigs derived from the blood of pregnant horses in Latin America. Led by the Swiss Tierschutzbund Zürich, NGOs have now renewed this demand, this time directed at the European Commission. The drug is based on a hormone called pregnant mare serum gonadotropin (PMSG) they say is extracted in cruel ways from horses in Argentina and Uruguay.

— ‘The blood business:’ PMSG is used widely across EU farms to regulate fertility in sows. Present in pregnant horses, the hormone synchronizes and accelerates ovulation in pigs, cutting the workload for farmers because the piglets are born at the same time. “EU countries are among the main buyers of PMSG from Uruguay and Argentina. If the demand from Europe stops, far fewer mares will be abused to produce PMSG,” the NGOs say. The export of PMSG from the two South American countries is a lucrative business, with one company from Uruguay exporting the hormone to France for some $5 million in 2016. The value of these exports reached $3.3 million between January and May 2017, according to trade data obtained by the NGOs.