Blood Horses Make the News
Animals' Angels
PO Box 1056 Westminster, MD 21158
February 22, 2016 
With Awareness Comes Change

In the September 13, 2015 issue of our newsletter, we shared information about the latest industry found to exploit defenseless horses: blood farms.  "Equine blood farms" are raking in millions of dollars for the pharmaceutical industry, who in turn use the blood extracted from horses to develop drugs for a variety of uses, including applications for pork producers. As discussed in  our previous report, PMSG, or Pregnant Mare Serum Gonadotropin, is the main ingredient of several products that will artificially influence a sow's fertility cycle, and therefore these products are coveted by the pork industry.

These blood farms exist in Argentina, Uruguay and in the United States. Rampant abuse was uncovered in Argentina and Uruguay during our shocking investigation:
  • Horses are beaten with wooden boards and sticks, and tortured by excessive electric prod use.
  • Mares are continuously kept pregnant so as to have their blood extracted as often as possible. If the mares become too weak during the extraction period, the foal is aborted by workers who destroy the sac with their bare hands to prompt the abortion of the fetus.
  • In between blood extraction cycles, the mares are left alone in their pastures and ignored.  Any injuries, illnesses and even miscarriages are left unchecked and many mares have died from this neglect.
  • The guidelines state that a horse should have no more than 15% - 20% of its total blood volume taken during a 4-week period.  Former workers at these blood farms have pointed out that 10-12 liters of blood are usually taken in a single extraction - which can produce hypovolemic shock and death.
However, our concerns did not remain overseas. American horses are at risk as well.  As for locations found in the U.S., such as Central Biomedia in Irwin, Missouri, inspections by governmental agencies are virtually nonexistent. These horses are "invisible" as are the facilities.  They operate with seeming impunity. USDA/APHIS does not carry out welfare inspections or in fact, any type of inspection at these blood farms, since the Animal Welfare Act does not apply. This is obviously a serious gap in the enforcement aspect that needs to be corrected immediately to provide the protection these animals deserve.

Media Coverage and Outrage Abroad
Our investigation was picked up by several international news outlets and television stations. The immediate reaction was one of outrage. Both the public and the authorities demanded answers and more importantly, they demanded change.
The Director of Syntex Argentina claimed during an interview on Argentinian TV that they would take good care of their animals because they are valuable to them. However, he further stated that they consider the mares as blood "donors" and admitted that abortion of the foal is a normal part of the procedure.
SENASA, the Argentinean Veterinary Authority, was informed about our video in October 2015. Monica Ponce, the National Coordinator of Animal Welfare of SENASA, said that the workers shown in the video were dismissed from the company as a result of the investigation.
In Switzerland, the Swiss Pig Breeders' Association "Suisseporcs" officially announced on television that they were calling on all veterinarians and pig breeders to not use PMSG anymore.
The Association of Swiss Veterinarians ("GST") also recommended to their members that they stop using PMSG and to instead examine alternative treatments, because MSD Animal Health (one of the large producers of PMSG) was unwilling to answer GST's questions and provide detailed information on the animal welfare standards required for the production of PMSG.

Forthcoming Improvements
The Governments in Argentina and Uruguay have confirmed the severe animal welfare violations we uncovered last year. Authorities in both countries state that they will regulate and control this previously non-transparent industry in the future, which was obviously not the case until now.
The Argentinean vet authority SENASA confirms that an unacceptable amount of blood is taken from the mares and that their foals are indeed regularly aborted because of commercial interests. SENASA promises that this will change and is planning to introduce legal requirements for the protection of the mares.
This important issue has garnered widespread and persistent attention abroad as indicated by this article released just a few days ago in Germany.  We're thrilled that it remains in the public eye and has prompted the positive changes these horses so desperately need and deserve.

Media Coverage in the U.S.
We're extremely pleased to see that The Inside Rein recently published an article detailing our investigation:  Donor Horse Serum: Is it Worth the Cost?
In this recent piece, a spokesman for Central Biomedia in Irwin, MO pointed out that their donor herd is treated well and their facility is in fact "audited" by the USDA.  Indeed, the company's website also claims the horses live under wonderful conditions. Animals' Angels investigators witnessed different circumstances: thin Draft horses with ribs showing and horses struggling to walk through muddy pens as they sank into the muck well over their ankles weren't exactly described on the website or mentioned by the spokesman.

It should be noted that our sources within the USDA state that Central Biomedia has not been inspected since March 2011. Those inspection reports are not available due to the fact that records are destroyed after 3 years. Further, we were advised by our sources that unless a complaint "worthy of action" was made against one of these facilities, the USDA does not routinely inspect them. In addition, we were told that the representatives would only inspect the scientific method by which the blood is drawn, not the welfare of the animals.

Another grave concern that Animals' Angels had at the time of our investigation and which has subsequently been confirmed by the company's own admission: Central Biomedia supplies their herd through an "undisclosed middleman," and when a horse is deemed unfit for donations, the animal is sent back to this "undisclosed middleman."  We can all just guess as to what the fate of any horse deemed "unfit" would be...
It's wonderful that this subject matter and these horses are finally getting at least a bit of the attention they deserve here in the U.S., and we're grateful to The Inside Rein for not only running this story but also for the author's dedication in following up with the companies involved as well.  We are very saddened however at the lack of overall interest by U.S. media outlets on such an important issue. It proves once again that our country has a long way to go in animal welfare, with awareness, with regulations, and just plain caring.

Animals' Angels is in the Field - 
Saving Animals - 
BUT We Need Help
Cruelty to animals is something that is typically hidden from view. Nowhere is this more evident than with farm animals and slaughter-bound horses. Though it's hard to imagine how much worse it could be for these helpless animals, without pictures and documentation to tell the animals' tales, they would undoubtedly suffer even more at the hands of such people. Animals' Angels is fighting against these gross injustices nationwide. But no matter how hard we fight, we need your help to continue our success! The more we bring these atrocities to light and out into the open the less the violators can hide.

Our biggest goal at Animals' Angels is to be out in the field rigorously investigating as many auctions, slaughterhouses, feedlots, and livestock trucks as possible. Even operating on our shoe-string budget, investigations are costly ventures to undertake. But they are imperative if we want to help our fellow animals. With your help, we can do more, reach more, and save more!

What Can YOU Do?

Perhaps you are asking yourself, what can I do to help these defenseless animals? Quite a lot actually!  By visiting our website, you can read through our archives and watch our videos to learn more about auctions, feedlots, kill buyers, and other sordid businesses and individuals that seek to exploit animals for nothing more than a quick profit.

By contacting your Congressional and Senate Representatives and urging them to support the SAFE Act, you can serve a role in outlawing the slaughter of horses in America, and preventing their shipment to Mexico and Canada. You would help save the lives of over 100,000 animals a year from appalling cruelty and suffering.

Another way you can help is to make a simple tax deductible gift to Animals' Angels. No gift is too small, of course, as every little bit adds up.

What can we do with, say, $50? A LOT! It can help us pay an investigator to scout out an auction and spend a couple of hours checking to see if the animals for sale are treated humanely.

With $100, our investigator could spend a full day at an auction. With $150, we could follow up on any transport trucks that may be heading out with animals in tow!

A gift of $500 would enable an investigator to stay in the field for a few days, giving them ample time to ascertain whether or not an auction, feedlot, or kill buyer flouts the law.

A $1,000 donation would help an investigator remain in the area for a week, gathering even more evidence necessary to bring charges against a business guilty of animal cruelty.

By donating any amount to Animals' Angels, and joining our ever-growing family, you are taking a stand against cruelty to animals. You are saying that this must stop, and you'll be helping us to save more animals from a horrendous fate of neglect and abuse.

These animals - from farm animals that are being needlessly abused and exploited to horses shipped to Mexico and Canada for slaughter to dogs trapped in tiny cages, being sold at roadside auctions - all of them desperately need your help. Won't you please answer that call?

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About us

Animals' Angels works to improve conditions for farm animals. We closely cooperate with law enforcement and government agencies to fight animal cruelty. 


Our investigators are out in the field nationwide, visiting auctions, feedlots and slaughter plants.



Animals' Angels, Inc.

PO Box 1056

Westminster, MD 21158


[email protected]


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