We are appalled to learn once again of this industry and its associated cruelty to the animals concerned. Turtles and fish are sentient creatures that require a specialised environment, diet and habitat to ensure their needs are adequately met.
The lack of food and diminishing oxygen concentrations within both the water and the small amount of air within the plastic pouches will cause these animals to die in a relatively short period of time after these pouches are sealed.
The use of live animals in a product which contains no real value is also likely to see many of these trinkets simply forgotten about or thrown into a bin while the animals are still alive.
For the producers of such trinkets to treat these individual animals in such an inhumane manner with a complete disregard for their survival and behavioural needs demonstrates an inability to differentiate between actions which are right or wrong and brings shame upon the people responsible.
No-one should take an animal into their home unless they have the facilities, time, financial means, and knowledge necessary to ensure a high standard of welfare, and a life-time commitment to the animal’s needs. Individuals should also be aware of the potential human health risks associated with being in close contact with animals such as turtles. Turtles frequently carry Salmonella bacteria that can cause serious illness. Salmonella infections can result from handling turtles and having contact with their environments, including the water from the containers in which they live. Young children are particularly at risk from Salmonella infection because their immune systems are still developing and because they are more likely than others to put their fingers or other items into their mouths.
We request the Chinese authorities put an immediate end to this practice, and urge the people of China not to buy these key rings. We believe that if a national animal protection law was enacted, such acts of cruelty could be prevented, and those who persist in causing harm and suffering to animals within their care could be prosecuted.
As the modern human population has expanded to colonise all ‘corners’ of the globe so we are exploiting the lives of those with whom we have the privilege of sharing this planet for our own personal gain. The keeping of live animals in sealed plastic containers with the knowledge that these animals will die a slow death due to lack of nutrients and oxygen provides evidence of sections of humanity slipping further down a path of immorality.
Hope can only be found in those people prepared to oppose this abusive industry and we respectfully request the authorities to foster and nurture such hope by banning the production and sale of these items forthwith.
Mr. Li Changming, Director of the Centre for Environmental Education and Communication, Chengdu Environmental Protection Bureau has said:"This kind of action should not be encouraged, all the animals should be live in a place that allows them to adapt to their natural needs…. the key point of the environmental education is to raise kids' awareness of the respect of all the living beings relationship with nature."
We urge you to do all that you can to encourage the Chinese Government to adopt animal protection legislation for all animals in China. Please write a polite letter to the Chinese Ambassador and send it to the main embassy address in your country. Embassy addresses can be found here.
We continue to work towards the development of a society which respects the welfare of all animals. Working together and with your support we can bring about change for the better for all animals across China.