PMU Horses For Sale

Put aside for the moment your belief that the PMU (pregnant mare urine) industry is right or wrong. The issue at hand is Wyeth pharmaceutical company's reduction in the number of ranchers under contract to collect pregnant mare urine as the main ingredient for hormone replacement therapy for post-menopausal women. Wyeth has cut ranchers from 409 to 264. This will put 10,000-18,000 horses on the market in the next year. As caring horse people, we need to step up and help where we can. There are going to be thousands of pregnant mares, weanlings, yearlings, and older horses needing new homes in the short and long term. If you are thinking of adding any horses to your herd, this is the perfect time.

There are horses of all breeds, shapes, and sizes--even registered mares in foal to registered stallions (Quarter Horses, Paints, warmbloods, and drafts of various breeds). There are sport-horse types for dressage, eventing, jumping, or fox hunting, and there are drafts and draft crosses for pleasure riding and driving. It's a smorgasbord of horseflesh. Unfortunately, some of these horses will end up as meals overseas. Only horse owners who want living beasts can change that.

Wyeth faced business decisions after a reduction in the number of prescriptions being written for hormone replacement therapy, and new federally approved low-dose hormones. Both of these mean less raw product is needed for manufacturing. And that means fewer pregnant mares needed for production.

The company didn't just hang these horses or ranchers out to dry, even in this day of big companies taking advantage (to say the least) of their employees. A buy-out program from Wyeth will pay ranchers 100% of this upcoming year's contract for their services, plus another 50% to ensure proper care and maintenance of horses (paid only if ranchers keep up veterinary and company inspections), according to NAERIC (North American Equine Ranching Information Council). The ranchers received an additional 17% payment as a retirement contribution.

Wyeth also has established a $3.7 million fund to help ranchers ship horses to legitimate, non-slaughter sales outside the Prairie provinces of Canada for horses which will no longer be used in the PMU industry. NAERIC will assume the responsibility to check into sales and make sure they are legitimate, and that the horses are not being sent to a known "slaughter sale."

Horses will be shipped in groups of about 20-25 once legitimate sales or individuals are identified.

Now is the time to buy, adopt, or assist organizations in placing these horses. It's truly a buyer's market right now, so step up to the plate before our European neighbors get the chance.

For those of you who want to help ranchers sell horses in your area or are interested in purchasing horses, contact NAERIC at PO Box 43968, Louisville, Ky. 40253; call 502/245-0425; fax 502/245-0438.

About the Author

Kimberly S. Brown

Kimberly S. Brown was the Publisher/Editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care from June 2008 to March 2010, and she served in various positions at Blood-Horse Publications since 1980.

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