Complaint Submitted After Keys Fisheries Supplier Dismembers Live Crabs in PETA Video

Group Launches Series of Protests Following New Video Exposé

For Immediate Release:
April 14, 2022

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Marathon, Fla. – A graphic new video from PETA shows workers on a vessel that supplied Keys Fisheries—the largest seller of stone crabs in Florida—in the act of tearing the limbs off live crabs and tossing the mutilated animals back into the ocean to suffer and die. So this week, the group is hitting the streets to protest Joe’s Stone Crab and Winn-Dixie, both of which source crab flesh from the company.

Outside Joe’s Stone Crab today, a PETA supporter bodypainted as a crab writhes atop a “dinner plate” surrounded by protesters armed with a banner reading, “It’s a Rip-Off! I Feel Pain, and I Need My Claws!”

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) requires that the claws be torn off live stone crabs in the crabbing industry—which causes agonizing pain and would otherwise be illegal under the state’s cruelty-to-animals law—so PETA, the largest animal rights organization in the world, is now challenging the requirement with a formal rulemaking petition to ban this conduct. PETA’s attorneys are making the case that the FWC allows Florida’s $30 million annual stone crab claw industry to operate in an illegal manner.

PETA’s footage also shows workers slamming a shark against their boat and appearing to carve out chunks of the animal’s flesh, ripping the mantles—which house the hearts and other organs—off live octopuses, and tearing live lobsters’ tails off before tossing the animals, still alive, back into the water. This cruelty prompted the group to file a criminal complaint with the FWC.

“Crabs need their claws to feed and defend themselves, yet they’re being torn apart—limb by limb—and tossed overboard,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on diners to leave crabs in peace and off their plates—and is urging Florida officials to grant them the same protection that all other animals have under state law.”

The FWC has admittedly “found a very high mortality rate associated with declawing,” discovering that 40.8% of crabs died when one claw was torn off and that 62.9% of crabs died when both claws were torn off.

Broadcast-quality video footage is available for download here, and photographs are available here.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind