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Policy on Mutilations of Decapods

Crustacean Compassion believes that no decapod crustacean should be subjected to any mutilation for any purpose.  The only exception to this would be when the procedure is undertaken by a veterinary surgeon for direct benefit to the welfare of the individual.

(1) De-clawing

Subsequent reduction in quality of life and survival rates if de-clawed animals are returned to the sea support Crustacean Compassion’s view that the overall process is unacceptable on welfare grounds and should not be permitted.

Returning to sea after de-clawing

The evidence suggests the crabs’ quality of life is seriously damaged after de-clawing. Hence, contrary to popular belief, it is clear that returning manually declawed crabs to the sea is neither sustainable nor ethically acceptable and should not be practised.

(2) Eyestalk Ablation

This strong body of evidence, indicating the multiple welfare concerns experienced by the large numbers of animals subjected to eyestalk ablation, underpins the view that this practice is completely unacceptable and should be replaced with non-invasive alternatives. 

Alternatives to Eyestalk Ablation

The availability and potential efficacy of non-invasive options together with the clear evidence of the serious negative ablation-linked welfare impacts, strongly underline both the urgent need to prohibit the practice of eyestalk ablation and the feasibility of replacing it with alternative approaches.

More Info

Our full policy documents look into these topics in significant detail. For more information on how we came to form these positions, please email us, we're happy to provide further information upon enquiry:

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Two American lobsters with their claws bound are laid on crushed ice

Click here to return to our Animal Welfare Policies and Position Statements home page. 

Pile of crabs, close up to the face of the top crab

Find out more about two common mutilations that happen to decapods: eyestalk ablation and declawing.

Small crab stands on a grey sand beach with one claw raised in the air

If you agree that these practices are inhumane and need to stop, take action now. 

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