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Options for Humanely Immobilizing and Killing Crabs


Gardner, C, Options for Humanely Immobilizing and Killing Crabs, Journal of Shellfish Research, 16, (1) pp. 219-224. ISSN 0730-8000 (1997) [Refereed Article]


Trials were conducted on the Australian giant crab Pseudocarcinus gigas (Lamarck) to evaluate methods to: paralyze by injection (so that no muscular response is observed); paralyze by bath; humanely kill for scientific purposes; and humanely kill for human consumption. Treatments tested were: freshwater bath, chilling, heating, prolonged exposure to air, hypercapnic seawater bath (carbon dioxide addition), 2-phenoxy ethanol bath, magnesium sulfate bath, benzocaine bath, MS 222 bath, chloroform bath, clove oil bath, AQUI-S-TM bath, xylazine-HCl by injection, and ketamine-HCl by injection.

Xylazine-HCl (16 or 22 mg/kg) and ketamine-HCl (0.025-0.1 mg/kg), administered by injection, appear to be the best techniques for paralyzing crabs for short periods. Where injection is impractical, crabs may be successfully paralyzed within 30 min by a bath treatment of clove oil (greater than or equal to 0.125 mL/L) or AQUI-S-TM (greater than or equal to 0.5mL/L). Chloroform (1.25 mL/L; 1.5 h) rind clove oil (greater than or equal to 0.125 mL/L; less than or equal to 60 min) baths appeared to kill crabs humanely and are useful options for scientific use; however, clove oil is preferred because chloroform poses a human health risk. Of the methods tested, only clove oil and AQUI-S-TM appear premising as treatments for the humane killing of crabs for human consumption.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Aquaculture
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - aquaculture
Objective Field:Fisheries - aquaculture not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Gardner, C (Professor Caleb Gardner)
ID Code:12033
Year Published:1997
Web of Science® Times Cited:27
Deposited By:TAFI - Aquaculture
Deposited On:1997-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-15

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