We were recently alerted to hundreds of bat specimens being sold in jars by companies such as necromance.com and post mortemstudiorental.com, and traced the source of these bats to a popular science company used by teachers known as Ward’s Natural Science. We purchased one of these bats and discovered the label was shared by both Wards and Science Kit & Boreal Laboratories. Ward’s Natural Science company and its affiliates, Edmund Scientific, Science Kit and Boreal Laboratories, provide science education materials for elementary through college classrooms. Wards is a division of VWR International.
On gross necropsy we discovered this bat, a female Mexican free-tail, to be plump and healthy. She had a full stomach and intestines and was also a nursing mother. By all appearances (and by Ward's later admission) this bat was collected live and killed, leaving behind a starving pup. This bat had a potential life span of 25 to 40 years in the wild and was capable of eating hundreds of millions of insects during her lifetime. She was sold for $6.25.
You are selling bats that have been collected healthy and alive, then killed just so your company can make a profit. You are also condoning the harvesting of healthy mother bats and causing the intentional orphaning of helpless babies, which is morally repugnant and cannot be justified scientifically.
Bats are in rapid decline across the US. As primary predators of vast quantities of night-flying insects, including serious crop pests, free-tailed bats are important to the agricultural interests of our country. As a purportedly ethical society, it is time we moved beyond the practice of sacrificing free-living animals for ‘study.’ There are numerous specimens available at fine museums everywhere and deceased wildlife, which has died of natural causes, can be easily obtained from wildlife rehabilitators. I am absolutely sure that every school student in this great country would be outraged if they knew these animals were being killed just so they could look at them in a jar.
I ask that Ward’s Scientific and all its affiliates stop the sacrifice of bats and other healthy wildlife on the grounds it is unjustified, unsustainable, and morally wrong. Until then, I will tell all my friends about Ward's Natural Science and its affiliates and actively encourage the boycott of Wards Natural Science products to teachers, students and the general public across the US.
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