Natural Behaviour

Potential compromises to Natural Behaviour of PMU mares:

  • they are confined to stalls and are unable to move or forage naturally
  • the collection of urine is a violation of natural behaviors

Industry Reports 

  • Welfare may not so significantly compromised by confinement as production facilities situated in Saskatchewan and Manitoba require the mares to be housed inside during winter months anyway due to cold.
  • The winter months correspond to the estrogen production peaks and as a result limitations to natural behaviours would be experienced regardless of PMU collection.
  • During spring and summer months they give birth to foals and are rebred naturally on pasture (Houpt & Waran, 2003).
  • This cycle of winter housing and pasture access may not be different to that of horses in other equine industries.
  • There are potential dangers to the mares and ranchers if mares were frequently removed from the collection device to go outside (Houpt & Waran, 2003).