Horseshoe crabs are captured and bled alive because their blood is very sensitive to toxins from bacteria; it’s used to test for contamination in medical equipment like shots, IV drips, and implanted medical devices.
Horseshoe crabs bled for the biomedical use in the United States are returned to the ocean, but an estimated 50,000 also die in the process every year. Their numbers are dwindling around the world due to pollution and over harvesting.
A synthetic substitute for horseshoe-crab blood has been available for 15 years! The horseshoe crab-bleeding industry has tried to stop the synthetic version’s adoption.
Time to ban the cruel practice of bleeding 30% of a creature’s blood supply. Pharmaceutical companies are finally beginning to commit to the synthetic alternative that doesn’t harm animals.