Trailer: Iceland – Land of the 5,000 Blood Mares

Animal welfare organisations Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF, Germany) and Tierschutzbund Zürich (TSB, Switzerland) have uncovered a business in Iceland that involves around 100 blood farms and 5,000 Icelandic horses. On these blood farms, blood is drawn from mares in early pregnancy for a period of up to ten weeks. The blood contains the hormone PMSG, which is used primarily in industrial piglet production to boost fertility and to synchronise births.

The investigations have discovered a sequence of massive animal welfare violations, contrary to all statements made by the pharmaceutical companies. Most of the mares are semi-wild, they have hardly any contact with humans. Footage of the blood collection procedure shows workers beating the horses, shouting at them loudly and chasing dogs after them.

A coalition of international animal welfare organisations is calling on the EU Commission for an import and production ban on PMSG – a demand also recently made by the European Parliament.

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