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What is fetal bovine serum collection?
The commercial collection of fetal bovine serum refers to the collection of blood from fetal calves at abattoirs for the commercial production of blood serum. Because the blood of unborn calves has only been exposed to its mother’s blood coming to it across the placenta, fetal blood is free of micro-organisms and this gives the fetal calf its commercial value.
The serum which is obtained from fetal blood, is used for scientific purposes such as vaccine production. RSPCA Australia advocates the use of non-animal alternatives instead of blood being collected from fetuses and for these to be developed as quickly as possible.
There are welfare risks associated with the collection process and therefore it must be well documented with only skilled operators undertaking the procedure. The following are recommended minimum requirements;
Where synthetic serum or another non-animal derived alternative exist, these must be used rather than the animal-derived product.
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