Executive Summary

The role of the Equine Ranching Advisory Board (ERAB) is to advise Pfizer Brandon on the management, husbandry and welfare of horses used in pregnant mares’ urine (PMU) collection. The ERAB offers the following report to the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) to summarize more than 15 years of oversight of the PMU network.

Veterinarians representing the AAEP, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association and the International League for the Protection of Horses have previously visited a broad spectrum of equine ranches engaged in the collection of PMU. The purposes of those visits were to observe first-hand the health and welfare of the horses involved in production of the Premarin® family of products, estrogen replacement medications derived from PMU, and to confirm Pfizer’s field application of the Continuous Improvement Program in horse care. The report entitled, “Equine Veterinarians’ Consensus Report on the Care of Horses on PMU Ranches” concluded that ranchers took pride in their animals, and that Pfizer showed a commitment to continuing to improve the standards of equine welfare on the ranches. The “Consensus Report” veterinarians identified specific areas for scientific research and educational initiatives for Pfizer.

As a follow-up to the report, the ERAB supports the following statements:

  • The current AAEP Position on the Management of Mares Utilized in the Pregnant Mare Urine (PMU) Collection Industry (2010) which states, “Through on-site investigations and peer review of ongoing research, the AAEP believes the collection of urine from pregnant mares and care of their offspring as prescribed by the recommended Code of Practice, represents responsible management of horses to produce a commodity for the benefit of mankind that should not result in abuse, neglect or inhumane treatment of horses.”
  • The use of horses by Pfizer to produce a product that benefits human health is justified and warranted as long as the health and welfare of the horses under Pfizer stewardship meets or exceeds science-based, informed veterinary criteria for management of these horse herds.
  • Science-based horse management recommendations should continue to be utilized in establishing standards for equine ranching and PMU production.
  • The Continuous Improvement Program must serve as the guiding doctrine for all equine ranching and PMU production activities.
  • Herd health reviews of equine ranches by independent, certified, veterinarians should continue to be a necessary component of a system of checks and balances ensuring the health and welfare of horses used for PMU production. Reviews should be based on the standards described in the Recommended Code of Practice for Horses on PMU Ranches. 2
  • Linwood Equine Ranch, a CCAC-approved research and working PMU ranch, is the only facility in the world that specifically conducts applied research into the care and welfare of PMU horses and provides the quality assurance of oversight of horses in the PMU industry. Linwood Equine Ranch provides research-based recommendations important to the continued improvement of horse management on equine ranches and supports the requirement for peer reviewed research which is a basic condition of the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ “Position on the Management of Mares Utilized in the Pregnant Mare Urine (PMU) Collection Industry” as revised by the AAEP board of directors in 2010.
  • Rancher assistance programs are essential in supporting the continued marketing and placement of horses into productive markets. This is a role the North American Equine Ranching Information Council (NAERIC) has played and continues to play. NAERIC programs create value-added marketing opportunities for the continuous improvement in the sale of horses that are produced as a result of estrogen production. It is recognized that not all horses can be guaranteed to go to productive markets; however, the effort to identify productive markets is paramount to the continued placement initiatives that have been developed.
  • The Marketing Assistance Program should continually be reviewed in concert with Pfizer Brandon to ensure that monies allocated to the program directly benefit placement of horses. Allocations to this program need to be reviewed to address the inability of the fund to cover all requested reimbursements. The electronic tracking of horses utilizing the program provides documentation that horses are being placed in productive markets.
  • It is incumbent upon all divisions of Pfizer to acknowledge that horses are produced as a result of the extraction of estrogens for medicinal purposes. The company is responsible to adequately and universally support the continued placement of horses via reputable and recognized markets, utilizing sufficient and appropriate resources.
  • The Equine Ranching Advisory Board, or an equivalent, should continue to provide oversight and receive reports on activities pertinent to equine ranching and PMU production.
  • No lesser standard for horse care and oversight should be accepted from any other organization participating in equine ranching and PMU collection as those described herein.
  • To ensure oversight, the equine ranching industry should continue to report to the American Association of Equine Practitioners as appropriate.

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Publication Type

  • White Paper


  • Reproduction
  • Welfare

Publish Date

June 1, 2014