Chinese sellers are stuffing sea-animals like turtle and fish inside tiny plastic bags with water and selling these as keychains. And while various shopkeepers claim that it doesn’t hurt the animals, due to the oxidation of the nutrients and minerals present in the water, it doesn’t seem to be the case. Animal rights groups have argued that these animal key chains are extremely cruel to animals.
These animal keychains are sold near subways for $1.50 which is lower than that of a burger. Most Chinese cities like Shanghai sell these outside train stations.
There have been reports of animals dying inside such cages, for a vendor mentioned how these animals need to be cut out of their cages after a couple of days if it wanted to survive. They couldn’t just miraculously survive being stuffed into a small plastic with no chance of food and air. Most of the stuffed animals are amphibians, so they need equal time on the land as they do in the water.
Even though there are several petitions going on to stop this inhumane practice, these animal keychains keep getting sold everywhere. This has been seen as the major craze among teenagers, and there isn’t much chance that this practice would be curtailed.
Dr. Sam Walton from the Universiti Malaysia Terengganu mentioned how the excretion and the respiration of the animals itself are going to kill them. He told The Star Online, that even though there might be adequate oxygen in the plastic, the animals are going to poison themselves with ammonia. Such aquatic animals are extremely susceptible to temperature changes, which means that being in a bag like this is probably the same as being in a greenhouse for them. The animal keychain is simply going to shake them around so much, that they will die before starvation or suffocation comes into play.
Interestingly, China did sign a draft back in 2009 that proposed animal protection, but it has not been implemented with full force. As a result, not much has been achieved since then. Yet, there is a steady rise for animal rights in the last few years, with a lot of animal rescue projects being taken up to save animals like dogs and cats.
The Shanghaiist claims that the food pellet which the animal is provided with can serve up to 3 months, but is it not guaranteed that the animal would live up to 3 months in those keychains.