Cashing in on Bleeding Horseshoe Crabs
Animals in Labs Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM AAVA American Anti-Vivisection Society
June 2021

Despite a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service alleging that the agency is breaking laws meant to protect wildlife in the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge in South Carolina, a federal court is allowing horseshoe crabs to be harvested while an appeal being is considered.

horseshoe crab

Charles River Laboratories, a lab supply and contract testing company, purchases wild-caught horseshoe crabs and drains their blood, which is then used to produce a product that detects bacteria in drug and vaccine manufacturing. This product can fetch $60,000 a gallon, according to Businessinsider.com.

As much as half their volume of blood is collected from the horseshoe crabs and itís estimated that 20 percent of harvested females die after being released. Atlantic horseshoe crabs are listed as a vulnerable species (one step below endangered) by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and they are an important part of the ecosystem. Their decline in numbers has also affected other animals, especially the endangered Red Knot, a bird which depends heavily on crab eggs to provide energy for its remarkable 9,000 mile annual migration.

Despite a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service alleging that the agency is breaking laws meant to protect wildlife in the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge in South Carolina, a federal court is allowing horseshoe crabs to be harvested while an appeal being is considered.

This animal suffering is not necessary. There are alternatives accepted for use in the European Union, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve their use. 


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