Happy news for mice! Tens of thousands of mice will be spared agonizing deaths every year following the landmark approval of a more accurate toxicity test for shellfish eaten by humans in the U.S. The Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference formally approved the test at its meeting last week.
For decades, state fisheries throughout the U.S. have used a painful and deadly test on mice to determine whether shellfish caught for human consumption contain a lethal concentration of toxins. In these tests, a sample of shellfish is processed in a blender, and this slurry is injected into the abdomens of mice, causing them to have seizures, become paralyzed, and die painfully from suffocation.
The more humane method for detecting these deadly toxins uses tissue from one animal to analyze approximately 200 samples. Not only does the new test have the potential to save tens of thousands of animals a year, it’s also scientifically superior and far less expensive.
PETA donated $11,500 to fund the radiation licensing necessary to implement the test nationwide, and our scientists are now contacting all U.S. fisheries to urge them to implement this modern and more efficient method.
The PETA International Science Consortium, Ltd., oversees and coordinates the donations of PETA-named affiliates to such programs. To date, members of the consortium have donated more than $1.5 million to the development and implementation of non-animal testing methods.