In China, live fish, turtles and other amphibians are being sold as keychains and mobile phone charms. For the accessories the animals are fully sealed within small plastic bags, causing animal rights groups to condemn the practice as ‘cruel’.
Most commonly sold outside of train and subway stations in the major cities, the animals can be seen paddling/swimming within a small amount of colored water. Reportedly, the keychains can be bought for as little as $1.50.
Venders have claimed that each keychain contains enough crystallized oxygen and nutrients to keep the animals alive.
Sealed within the bags is either a fish, young Chinese soft-shell turtle—which as adults are popular within Chinese dishes— or an amphibian.
Within the bag, the animals can survive no longer than a few days. A vendor told CNN, that the animals must be cut out of the bag before the air runs out, otherwise they would suffocate.
Animal rights groups have dubbed that keychains ‘inhumane’, and have highlighted that more animal protection laws are needed within the country.
Although many petitions aimed at banning the keychains have circulated, the small animals are still being contained and sold within their plastic coffins.
The keychains are particularly popular with young people, who reportedly see them as fashionable accessories.
The manufacture and sale of the keychains is a practice of severe animal cruelty, and an almost certain death sentence for many of these tiny creatures. Unfortunately, these keychains are likely to remain being sold on the streets of China. It is time for China to implement meaningful animal cruelty laws, and recognize the importance of treating all living animals with care and respect.
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