Help Save Rare Horseshoe Crabs


Target: President Barack of the United States, Barack  Obama

Goal: Ask pharmaceutical industries to delay the harvesting of blood from horseshoe crabs, to keep these animals’ populations intact

Every year, the United States biomedical business collects the blood from close to five hundred thousand living horseshoe crabs for use in medicines and sterilizations. The blue blood is used to guarantee that vaccines and medical tools are free of microbial bacteria contamination. Sadly, there is no other alternative way to make this product; it can only be made from the horseshoe crabs’ blood.

Alarmingly, the latest research from the University of New Hampshire (UNH) shows that the collection of blood from horseshoe crabs causes noticeable changes in their behavior and functionality, which could add to the crabs’ recent population drop.

The crabs are heavily bled during blood collection. About thirty percent of the blood is taken from the crabs’ bodies and sadly, about twenty percent of those crabs do not survive. The UNH research team imitated the collection procedure to examine the difference after the crabs had been bleeding. They determined that the crabs moved less frequently and were disoriented. The bleedings usually takes place during the crabs’ breeding season, which explains the population decline in parts of the East Coast such as in Delaware.

If the pharmaceutical industry were to delay the blood harvest until after the breeding season, it would help these animals greatly. They would have a better chance to recover without any problems. Please sign this petition asking the pharmaceutical companies to delay the bleeding of crabs so that they can survive through their breeding season.


Dear President Obama,

Pharmaceutical companies are collecting blood from horseshoe crabs off the East Coast every year in staggering numbers. The time that they choose to collect their harvest could be aggravating the crabs’ population drop in portions of their range. We are not asking them to stop collecting the blood, because it is beneficial in the sterilization of vaccines and equipment that is saving lives everyday. We are simply asking them to change the timeline during which they are collecting the blood.

Their collection time is conflicting with the breeding season for the horseshoe crabs. The harvest has caused the crabs to display dysfunctional behavior and they do seem to recover from in time for them to breed properly. Please ask this industry to push back their harvest so that the crabs get a chance to grow their population.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Rodrigo Sala via Flickr

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