Fish, turtles and other small marine animals—sold as "living keychains"—suffocate and die soon after they are sealed into their plastic coffins
Last year, CNN reported that small fish, turtles and other amphibians—trapped in airtight bags filled with water—are being sold in Beijing as mobile phone trinkets and key rings, for around $1.50 each.
"Lack of food and diminishing oxygen concentrations within both the water and the small amount of air in these plastic pouches will cause the animals to die in a relatively short period of time after the pouches are sealed," said David Neale, animal welfare director of Animals Asia.
"If a national animal protection law was enacted in China, such acts of cruelty could be prevented, and those who persist in causing harm and suffering to animals within their care could be prosecuted."
However, "a little research reveals the trend started in 2008 in anticipation of the Beijing Olympics," writes Megan Drake of Care2. "These living keychains were seen being hawked unofficially, imprinted with the official mascots of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Fuwa—the official mascots—were 'designed to express the playful qualities of five little children who form an intimate circle of friends.' The mascots were an expression of good wishes to children worldwide. They represent prosperity, happiness, passion, health and good luck. Not so lucky for the turtles and fish, though."
"To put a living thing inside a sealed and confined space for profit is immoral and pure animal abuse,” said Qin Xiaona, director of the NGO Capital Animal Welfare Association, according to China's Global Times. However, "China only has a Wild Animal Protection Law," Qin explained. "If the animals are not wild animals they fall outside the law's scope."
Sadly, even the wild animal law has no teeth, as the parts of illegally killed wild animals sold throughout China.
- Sign a Change.org petition to stop the sale of "living keychains"
- Sign a Care2 petition urging Chinese president Hu Jintao to stop killing endangered species
- Sign a Care2 petition asking the Chinese government to ban shark finning
- Sign PETA's Pledge to Be Fur-Free
- Sign a ForceChange petition to protect threatened populations of Asian musk deer
- Sign a Care for Chinese Animals petition to ban dog and cat meat in China
- Join Bill Clinton, Paul McCartney, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Bono, Ricky Gervais, Roger Moore, Susan Sarandon, Anjelica Huston, Jeremy Irons, Paula Abdul, Joan Jett, Annie Lennox, Elton John and thousands of others who have signed the TigerTime petition urging Chinese premier Wen Jiabao to call for an end to all tiger trade in China
- Sign a Change.org petition to close China's bear bile farms
- Sign the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW)
- Follow 13.7 Billion Years on Twitter
- Reason #1: China Tortures and Kills Bears
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- Reason #22: China Drowns Baby Mice to Make a Health Tonic
- Reason #23: For Countless Animals, China Is Hell on Earth
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