Horse Welfare During Equine Chorionic Gonadotropin (eCG) Production
School of Veterinary Science, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Barcelona, Spain
Federation of Veterinarians of Europe, 12B-1040 Brussels, Belgium
Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
Charles River, Wilmington, MA 01887, USA
Department of Pathobiology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 November 2019 / Revised: 25 November 2019 / Accepted: 28 November 2019 / Published: 1 December 2019
Equine chorionic gonadotropin or eCG is an important hormone produced by the placenta of pregnant mares and extracted from the blood of these same mares. This hormone is commonly used to enhance reproduction of pigs, dairy cows, sheep, beef cows, and goats. There are currently no alternative sources of this hormone. Horse welfare problems may arise if too much blood is collected at one time or during repeated collections or if the mares are not managed well. In some countries, mares are aborted several months into the pregnancy to improve efficiency since this permits them to become pregnant a second time in one year. We discuss approaches to protect the welfare of pregnant mares kept for eCG production.