05. March 2022

PMSG investigation in Argentina: Blood farm Syntex

Inappropriate handling of the blood mares. Leather whips are used.

Some blood mares are severely emaciated.

This horse cannot bear any weight on the right hind leg because of an untreated wound.

Another severely lame horse with infected wound does not receive any veterinary care.

During a six-day investigation in Argentina, we observe the Syntex blood farm. This blood farm keeps thousands of mares from which blood is taken during pregnancy for the production of the fertility hormone PMSG. We had already filmed the violent handling of the mares during blood collection in both 2015 and 2018. There have been no improvements to date. The gauchos rush the semi-wild horses into the crowded pens in front of the blood extraction building. Leather whips and loud shouting are used. Lame horses, even if they can only walk on three legs, receive no medical treatment, nor are they spared from the violent blood extraction process.

The mares are not given any additional food such as hay or minerals after their blood has been taken. Exhausted, they stand in the blazing sun. We do not see any water troughs in the pastures. We see less than four foals among the many horses. Abortions are still standard.

In a swampy pasture just behind the blood farm we discover five severely injured horses. At least one of them needs to be emergency killed. The open wounds are untreated. The horses can barely stand on their feet. Blood is still being drawn from at least two of these mares. The puncture sites on the jugular vein are clearly visible. Syntex does not adhere to its own animal welfare manual, in which they prescribe veterinary treatment for sick and injured horses. We look for weather protection in vain.

In November 2019, we filed a complaint against Syntex with our Argentinian partner organisation. Together with our Argentinian lawyer, we are again trying to bring the case to court. In 2021, the new PMSG product “Fixplan” received marketing authorisation in several EU member states. In the EU, we are taking action with our partners against the marketing authorisation of this PMSG product which is produced by Syntex.