Who would ever imagine that keyrings can turn into cruel items? This is what happened in Beijing and other Chinese cities, where vendors are selling live pets in small plastic bags full of water.
Animal rights supporters are shocked to find hundreds and thousands of such keyring ornaments being sold on the streets for as little as $1.50 per item. People usually buy them for their kids, who have fun with these live “keyrings” full of colored water. Other customers believe that they will bring them good luck and hang them in their homes or offices. So children and adults in China turn into heartless animal abusers without any penalty.
A very worrying fact is that this becomes a growing tendency in China. Since the keyrings with live pets are well-liked and bought by the customers, this threatens to turn into a cruel business. The problem is that there is no such law in China that can stop this animal cruelty. Chinese law protects the sale of wild animals only, which does not apply to the pets, sealed in their plastic tombs. These are kingfish, Brazil turtles, baby salamanders and terrapins, gasping to have some fresh air and to move freely.
According to the vendors, the sealed animals can live a few months inside the bag, but many animal supporters suppose that they will live no longer then a week or two before they die. They believe the air will shortly run out and the animals will suffocate inside.
Even if customers decide to keep the turtles as pets after they buy the keyrings, this can be risky for their health, as often these turtles carry salmonella bacteria, which may be dangerous for people.
A petition has been started “to stop China from using live turtles as a keychain”. Even though the animal rights activists highlight the cruelty; China still does not have a law to prevent the sale of these “living toys” and to punish their producers and vendors.
If people would not buy them, the market with these sealed animals will soon die, but unfortunately the tendency is that this cruel market increases. People prefer to watch how these little live prisoners hardly breathe and move in their tiny plastic bags, while the vendors make money. One of these Chinese vendors boasts that he sells about 50 such keyrings a day.
According to another vendor, the water in the bags contains some nutrients and crystallized oxygen, but as soon as they finish, the pet should be freed to prevent its suffocation. Among the popular Chinese dishes is a dish with Chinese soft-shell turtles, which are also among the animals sealed in these plastic bags.
Some animal rights groups believe that the selling of live goldfish keyrings began since the Olympic Games in China in 2008, when the fish was also sold in plastic bags for keyring ornaments. Some other reports show that live turtles and fish were sold in China train stations and subway entrances in 2011. The bags could be as short as 7 centimeters and may contain either two small kingfish or one small Brazil turtle.
All animal rights activists are unanimous that such legal cruelty should be immediately stopped by publishing a law that forbids this business. Although the vendors claim these animals can live such way for months, activists believe they will die in days or even hours, as soon as their oxygen runs out. It is a cruelty, as the sealed animal cannot be fed neither its oxygen can be replenished. This is determined as an immoral and inhuman act.