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Letter: Unfair charges against mare urine industry

As executive director of the North American Equine Ranching Information Council I am responding to inaccuracies and allegations made against the pregnant mare urine industry in a Monitor letter to the editor (“Unnecessarily cruel,” Sept. 9).

Experts from American Association of Equine Practitioners, Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, and International League for the Protection of Horses reviewed PMU ranches during collection season to observe the horses’ health and welfare. Per their consensus report, “Based on our inspections, the allegations of inhumane treatment of horses involved in PMU ranching are unfounded.”

Approximately 1,500 broodmares are in production. NAERIC-member ranchers contractually adhere to a code of practice, setting high standards for animal husbandry practices: temperature-controlled barns, stalls large enough for mares to move and lie down comfortably; adequate bedding, veterinary care, exercise, and restraint-free, lightweight collection systems that guarantee full range of motion. Balanced diets and watering are per National Research Council’s “Nutrient Requirements for Horses.”

NAERIC is a non-profit association of ranchers engaged in horse production and management of pregnant mares. Estrogens extracted from PMU are used in a hormone replacement therapy. In 2009, NAERIC was awarded AAEP’s prestigious Lavin Cup, given to non-veterinary organizations or individuals for their education to – and exceptional compassion for – the welfare of the horse.

Educate your readers about this unique segment of the equine industry with facts, not falsehoods. A woman’s health care decision should be between her and her health care practitioner.

Animal activists are not experts on health care or the PMU industry. For more information, visitnaeric.org.

NORMAN K. LUBA

Louisville, Ky.

Who knew there was such a thing as a "mare urine industry"???

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