Horses get Wind Turbine Syndrome (Portugal)

May 13, 2013


Editor’s note:  Horses, as well as humans, suffer from being in close proximity to wind turbines, strongly suggests a study performed last year at the School of Veterinary Medicine, Technical University, Lisbon, Portugal.  The study was written up as a Master’s thesis, titled “Acquired flexural deformity of the distal interphalangic joint in foals.”

On this stud farm, the owner has been breeding normal and physically sound horses since 2000. There were no changes in diet, exercise or any other significant alteration in management. Until in 2008, wind turbines were installed adjacent to the property and grazing paddocks.
  Since this date, a good number of foals and yearlings have developed deformities.

The subjects of the study were:
  11 Lusitano horses. Age between 0 and 48 months old.
  6 males and 5 females
.  9 were born at the stud farm, 2 were acquired from a different breeder.


The M.A. thesis was presaged in a conference paper by Professor Mariana Alves-Pereira et al. several years ago, and summarized as follows.

In 2007, at the 2nd International Conference on Wind Turbine (WT) Noise, held in Lyon, France, low frequency noise (<500 Hz, LFN)-induced pathology, consistent with vibroacoustic disease (VAD), was shown to be emerging in the R. Family, exposed to residential LFN generated by 4 WT installed in close proximity (300-700 m) to their home. Herein, a follow-up is provided.

The wife and 2 children no longer reside within that home. Mr. R., however, must remain to care for the thoroughbred Lusitanian horses and bulls that he trains and breeds for bullfights.

In addition to the continued deterioration of Mr. R’s health and well-being, his financial situation is aggravated by the condition now appearing in his horses during the first year of life. Between 2000 and 2006, 13 healthy thoroughbred Lusitanian horses were born and raised on Mr. R’s property. All horses (N=4) born or raised after 2007 developed asymmetric flexural limb deformities. WT began operations in November 2006. No other changes (constructions, industries, etc) were introduced into the area during this time.

Tissue analyses of the defected tendons were performed and revealed the classical features of LFN-induced biological responses: thickening of blood vessel walls due to proliferation of collagen in the absence of an inflammatory process.

In a personal communication, Alves-Pereira underscores, “The observation in these horses of abnormal growth of collagen in the absence of an inflammatory process is in conformity with the same observations found in low frequency noise (LFN)-exposed rats, and in vibroacoustic disease patients who are employed in LFN-rich environments.”

The following text is taken from here, with appreciation.



Since 2008, a high prevalence of front limb acquired flexural deformities was observed in a Lusitano stud farm. This work aims to evaluate this problem by reporting the results from tissue alterations in the affected animals as well as environmental conditions and management changes, which could have led to this observation. A total of eleven affected animals were studied. In these, a complete physical and orthopaedic examination were performed specifically the determination of the angle between the dorsal hoof wall and the floor. Radiographic examination, CT imaging, determination of the thickness of the cortical bone of the third metacarpian and histopathology of some tissues collected in biopsy and necropsy were done in a subset of affected foals.

All the animals had been supplemented with balanced commercial diet for equine. To investigate a possible genetic cause, two foals from distinct bloodlines were brought to the stud. These also developed the deformities after 6 months. Two of the affected foals were placed in a
pasture away from the initial one and two others were admitted at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Lisbon. In those animals, except for one that had to be euthanized for humane reasons, an improvement was observed on their condition, with partial recovery of the deformity.
Histopathology was performed from (i) the tendon obtained by surgical desmotomy in one foal, (ii) tendon biopsies were performed in three foals and (iii) from the tissue of one foal during necropsy. Histologically the most significant alterations were the dissociation of myofibrils of the smooth muscle. This was predominantly seen in the small intestine but also in the walls of small capillary vessels, including those of the tendon vasculature. The flexural deformities have a complex and multifactorial etiopathogeny. They occur due to uncoupling of the longitudinal development of the bone and its adjacent soft tissues, but also from shortening of the tendon-muscle unit in response to pain.
In the case series presented here, there was no obvious cause for the development of this problem, therefore we hypothesised that unusual environmental conditions might have played an important role in the development of this condition, especially those introduced in recent years.


The following is the summary of a case study of a group of Lusitano horses that have been monitoried over 4 years which were the subject of a masters thesis at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Technical University, Lisbon, completed in 2012.

The study was performed by Teresa Margarida Pereira Costa e Curto,  ADVISOR: Dr. Maria da Conceição da Cunha and Vasconcelos Peleteiro CO-ADVISOR: Dr. Maria Luisa Jorge Mendes.

The study reports the findings from a stud where 11 foals developed flexural deformities of the front limbs, after they were born. (Acquired flexural deformity of the distal interphalangeal joint.)


The above image shows the same foal at 3 and 6 months of age


A foal was bought from another breeder to exclude a possible genetic link to this problem. He came to the farm at 15 days old and like the others, developed a flexural deformity.


Radiological examination of front limbs

The following tests were used for the study:  
• Anamnesis
• Clinical examination
• Goniometry
• Ultrasound and x-ray
• Measurement of cortical bone
• CT
• Desmotomy of the check ligament
• Histopathology
• Sound measurements
• Measurements of ground vibration


Proximity of horses to wind turbines


Aerial view of farm proximity to wind turbines


Measurements of ground vibration were made at different distances from the wind turbines, with the same equipment that is used to detect seismic vibrations (earthquakes). The results of these measurements, showed ground vibration at different frequencies.
Research has shown that vibration effects bone metabolism.


The above research project was based solely on this case study. Therefore, further research is necessary in order to validate these preliminary findings and hypothesis. Regarding the sound that the wind turbines produce, measurements were taken and studies have demonstrated some cellular damage is caused by low frequency noise.

The full thesis can be downloaded here in Portuguese.

  1. Comment by Frank Haggerty on 05/13/2013 at 8:25 pm

    Jon Boone of Maryland produced a documentary “Life Under a Windplant”. In the classic documentary it shows how the wild animals had left the area around the wind turbines in Meyersdale, Pa.

    This documentary should be mandatory in the public school systems in the United States.

  2. Comment by Yuki Tsuruta Oike on 05/13/2013 at 8:36 pm

    I would like to thank Dr.Alves-Pereira.

    I wrote the following report in 2010. I need more information!


  3. Comment by Jackie on 05/13/2013 at 9:40 pm

    This breaks my heart! Subjecting turbines to humans is bad enough, at least we are capable of fighting.

  4. Comment by Kaz on 05/13/2013 at 11:03 pm

    Oh, my God.

    I’m feeling physically ill.

    How many studies will be done, how many people, animals and environments will suffer before the world wakes up, gets mad and does something about this?

    Human victims are still called liars…or worse, emotionally unstable…victims of a ‘nocebo’ effect…if they complain of illness due to ILFN. And the world accepts the industry’s diagnoses and ALLOWS the suffering to continue.

    Bird and bat fatalities are written off, true numbers hidden, the proven deaths marginalized as acceptable ‘take’…for the oft-touted ‘greater good’ that wind turbines are supposed to provide–but which they can’t and don’t. But citizens have bought the stories, accepted the industry lies…and are ALLOWING needless, countless deaths.

    Farm animals miscarry, lose their appetites, suffer stress…but SURELY that must be because of some OTHER factor. It doesn’t matter that they were happy and productive (and reproductive) prior to living within the sound-shed of turbine installantions. Surely, the farmer has introduced some toxin, changed some feed, neglected some precautionary measures…and the new anomalies are HIS fault! And guess what? People buy into those theories because it’s not happening to them, or to their animals…and because it’s easier than fixing this damned colossal, GLOBAL mistake…so they ALLOW animals to suffer, farmers to lose their livelihoods…

    Wildlife scatters. Yes, they may return briefly but they don’t stay. They live in and require a natural environment where they depend on the full use of their extraordinary senses…acute hearing being one of the most vital. A deer will not browse if it suspects danger. It stops, stands still, listens, sniffs the air, watches for unnatural movement. Only when its senses tell it that all is well will it drop its head to eat –and even then, for only a few moments before stopping to listen, again. The multi-level sounds and vibrations from massive turbines tear the air to shreds and effectively remove the ability to gain the relaxed state in which a deer can browse. Rather than starve, it will move on. But the wind industry will take a photo of a rabbit under a turbine, or a cow under a turbine, or a bird gliding gracefully above a turbine and say “See? You guys are wrong. You’re fanatics. You’re trying to scare people. Animals LOVE these things!” And because they speak louder (money makes a great megaphone) we ALLOW the industry to continue to wreak havoc on our native fauna.

    Look at these beautiful, amazing creatures which were the focus of this study/thesis. Is there a more majestic, noble or strong animal? They carry us, pull us, work our forests and plow our fields. They provide us with comfort and companionship and give, give, give until their hearts give out. But what have we done? What are we doing? What are we ALLOWING?

    LOOK at what we’re allowing. Where is our shame, our outrage, our ACTION?

    This makes me sick.


  5. Comment by Itasca Small on 05/14/2013 at 6:02 am

    Where is the moral outrage? Who answers the Calls-to-Action as this EVIL continues unabated? For all who answer, we need more! The humans and animals of Earth need more aware humans to rise and answer the Call!

    Where are the courageous? Whatever our number, it is not enough! We are still ridiculed and demonized by the Evil among us who keep right-on: destroying vegetation, destroying the land, destroying Earth and Life, wherever they are welcomed by governments to build their spinning head, toxic noise polluting, monstrosities of steel, concrete, Rare Earth Elements, and flashing lights.

    Small victories occur with God’s help, i.e., my very small, remote community staving-off the Goliath, RES Americas, in its intent to site Industrial Wind Turbines (IWTs) as close as one-half-mile from the outer walls of our residences. But, Iberdrola’s existing monsters ~10.25 miles from our neighbor nearest to them, continue to spin and cause increasing adverse health effects in the humans and animals at least as far as 12.5 miles away. Because our local county government still refuses to protect us from the pernicious scourge. Why? We have failed to overcome the indoctrination and educate our fellow-citizens in OUR OWN BACKYARD!!!

    Other victories are being won, and I praise the LORD for each of them. BUT, IT IS NOT ENOUGH!!!

    Right now, Dr. Sarah Laurie is facing the threat of professional censure in Australia for allegedly CAUSING WIND TURBINE SYNDROME IN HUMANS BY TELLING US WE COULD GET SICK FROM INDUSTRIAL WIND TURBINES SITED TOO CLOSE TO OUR HOMES.

    A cowardly, anonymous complaint charges her with conducting unauthorized research on human subjects and thereby creating a “nocebo” effect in the people who hear the results of her legitimate, scientific investigations of the harm occurring from IWTs.

    This nonsensical desperate charge claims we get sick because “anecdotal” claims are communicated to us!!! Never mind that MANY victims of wind turbine syndrome (WTS) have no knowledge of any adverse health claims when the symptoms begin and get worse – they are seriously making this ridiculous charge against Dr. Laurie!

    The nocebo effect is actually the “pseudo-scientific” foundation of their attack. Basically, they claim that if one hears that wind turbines might be harmful, he will develop the alleged symptoms through no fault of the turbines – or of the developers! In the Year 2013 AD, given all the facts and evidence readily available to anyone choosing to seek them out, there is absolutely no scientific basis for this ridiculous LIE. (I DARE CALL IT EVIL!!!)

    The wind industry is bringing “all guns” to bear on this courageous doctor who is dedicating her professional life to investigating, writing, and speaking-out; to warn her own Nation and the world, of the truth about IWTs and their destructive effects on human life.

    The most outrageously egregious fact in this “witch hunt” by wind developer groupies in collaboration with the developers, is that Australia’s “professional” National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and two other governmental groups are taking the charges seriously. The NHMRC claims it doesn’t accept public comments on charges against individuals; an effective way to ward-off unwanted testimonials in support of a doctor who is in their sights. Other methods must be used to support Dr. Laurie. But what is to be done?

    The Waubra Foundation’s board of directors is standing behind Dr. Laurie; they submitted the initial response to the complaint on her behalf, calling for proper, public investigation of the charges and of WTS. But, the influence of the wind industry and pseudo-scientific “witch doctors” (e.g., Professor of Public Health, Simon Chapman, a vigorous advocate for the nocebo effect) in Australia’s professional and media circles is strong. Dr. Laurie faces an uphill battle, and the board’s statement was the first volley in her defense.

    What can Warriors Against Wind Energy do to help? I don’t know the definitive answer, but I can suggest that the Australian Government and Media be made to feel the intensity of phone calls, e-mails, regular mail, blog exposure, etc., from WTS sufferers and knowledgeable professionals from around the globe.

    And, Warriors Against Wind Energy in Australia could redouble their efforts at this critical time, to reach the Australian citizenry, to stir the passions of righteous indignation against the lying anonymous sycophants and the wind industry developers seeking to destroy Dr. Laurie solely in order to rid themselves of a very effective force fighting against them. If she is not defended vigorously and loudly by those who know the truth, she will be figuratively sacrificed to the false, Wind Industry gods. Australian’s could facilitate the worldwide effort by providing information on whom to contact. But, what do we say?

    Beating the drums in the name of human victims is not working. We need to concentrate on the animals! The answer to claims of the nocebo effect is in the animal kingdom. The world is too slow to accept the truth about human health effects because the indoctrination claiming wind energy to be Earth’s Savior against alleged man-made global warming has been unbelievably successful.

    Ironic that Man stands accused of destroying Earth’s Climate with his technology on the one hand, while on the other he is convinced that inefficient and toxic 19th Century technologies can save it; if he will just sacrifice all of the modern human advancement dependent upon… Technology!

    This current distressing article about foal horse WTS victims graphically exposes the long-known fact that IWTs destroy animal life even more tragically than human life. THEY, LIKE HUMAN CHILDREN, CANNOT COMPREHEND WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THEM!!! Even so, they DO perceive the cause! And, they escape when they are able!!! The Ignorant and the Evil point to the rabbits and the cows photographed resting beneath IWTs, but they fail to realize that these animals DON’T LOVE THE MONSTERS. They perceive the absence of infrasound and low frequency at the base of their torturer!

    There are diagrams that show the angle at which sound waves propagate from the spinning heads of IWTs; they are projected outward in a cone-shaped geometry away from the tower! I believe the additional ILFN that propagates through the tower into the ground and outward from there, is concentrated in the equivalent of standing waves that are amplified into much stronger ILFN within the semi-circular, mostly hollow towers. Under and next to the IWT is the safest place to be if you’re an animal and can’t escape any other way.

    The wind industry and others can successfully argue nocebo to the gullible, the ignorant and the willfully blind humans, because some human beings have reportedly evidenced a nocebo effect in certain instances unrelated to IWTs. But, to attribute WTS to such a notion is completely unfounded. So, how to prove this fact?

    The answer, again, is in the Animal Kingdom. What reasonably logical and rational human being is going to believe, let alone posit, that the foal horses in this infuriating article GAVE THEMSELVES “Acquired flexural deformity of the distal interphalangic joint…” ? No one can say these foals CRIPPLED THEMSELVES with Vibroacoustic Disease!

    Three years ago, my neighbors and I were awakened to the reality of the insidious wind energy crime against Life on Earth. One of the first articles I read online was about the Taiwanese Goat Farm at which 400 goats had died from the effects of IWTs – I know the articles say it’s yet to be proven, but, I DON’T NEED FURTHER PROOF! Common sense is life-protective.

    Having bred, raised, and shown world-class Nubian Dairy Goats in my youth, I know goats, and I’ve heard enough about goats in Illinois, alpaca’s in Wisconsin, and numerous other animals relative to IWTs, to know that the turbines killed those Taiwanese goats. Goats happen to be very sensitive to any sudden, loud, audible and low-frequency noise. Spontaneous abortion occurs readily in goats subjected to noise. Goats could be WTS “bellwethers,” if it were humane to use them as test subjects. Here is an article on the Taiwanese goats:; and, an excellent one addressing them and a variety of other animals:; May, 2012. More articles are available on the WTS Site and elsewhere online.

    I also read Ivan Buxton’s haunting 2006 paper, “Low Frequency Noise and Infrasound (Some possible causes and effects upon land-based animals and freshwater creatures),” early-on in my IWT Nightmare. His descriptions of the horrible effects of ILFN, were enough to convince me – and I have never looked-back – that IWTs have NO PLACE ANYWHERE ON EARTH!!! [You can find references to Buxton’s paper in the Archives, and at this site: ]

    The point being, the terrible toll on the Animal Kingdom cannot be explained-away by nocebo. Animals are not sickened or deformed because other animals – or human beings – tell them tales of deformity, sickness and death to Their Kind living near wind turbines!

    Hence, I believe we must shine a brighter light on these victims of WTS. Medical professionals know that if a treatment protocol works on animals it is potentially viable for humans, because there is no possibility of placebo effect. Likewise, rational, intelligent, logical professionals MUST be able to see that nocebo cannot occur in animals. So, if they see that animals are suffering and dying, God may remove the scales from their eyes, and they may see the truth about IWTs.

    In just the two-and-a-half years since Fellow-Warriors graciously gave me my Dell computer so I could more effectively fight this War, I have “bookmarked” 293 websites or articles on IWTs and all of their adverse effects. And, that doesn’t even begin to count all of the articles on the WTS Site, and on many others.

    It is not enough! Hundreds of articles telling the truth about Industrial Wind Turbines and Wind Energy overall, are NOT ENOUGH! We don’t have Forever to win this War: to save existing victims, and spare potential victims.

    We have to start thinking – and ACTING – “outside the box!”

    Itasca Small
    Wind Turbine Syndrome Refugee,
    Navajo County, Arizona, U.S.A

  6. Comment by Yuki Tsuruta Oike on 05/14/2013 at 8:55 pm

    Dear Calvin,

    Could you correct my comment from “Dr.Alves-Preira” to “Portuguese researchers” ?

    By the way I have had a problem to send emails to your address directly.



  7. Comment by Itasca Small on 05/15/2013 at 2:36 am

    I’m glad Yuki added this comment. I missed her link last night to the article she submitted in 2010. Having just visited that page, I am further incensed by the Global Carnage being perpetrated by the 21st Century descendants of Grand Inquisitor Tomas de Torquemada and the Marquis de Sade.

    Evil knows only one father.


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