In 1986, an organization called Horse Aid was the first reported equine related organization to do an investigation of PMU farms.
In a 1988 issue of Equine Times News where they state alarming reports of abuse including:
- emaciation of mares and foals
- confinement for weeks-months without exercise
- narrow confined stalls
- crowded paddocks housing foals and mares
- premature death of mares and foals
- mass graves of slaughtered foals and mares
- infections, chafing and lesions from urine collection device
- water restrictions to increase estrogen concentration in urine
(Horse Aid, 2004), (PETA, 2015)
A 1996 study into the incidence of foal mortality found that of 334 foals born, 22% died before 10 days of age and 74% of these deaths occurred within the 8 hours of birth.
The major causes of foal mortality included:
- starvation/exposure 27%
- septicemia 26%
- dystocia 20%
(Haas et. al, 1998).