Keychains have always been another place to accessorize for people, with lanyards, trinkets and jewelry. Well now, it’s simply gone too far. In China, they’ve begun selling “live” keychains which comprise of turtles, fish and other small amphibious creatures sealed in a plastic bubble.
The water given to them contains crystallized oxygen that will slowly release, keeping the creature alive for a few days. It’s then that one vendor told CNN owners are supposed to cut open the bubble and treat the small animal as any other pet, but few do.
Instead the creatures die a slow and torturous death of oxygen deprivation, making this a unique kind of animal cruelty. Though some people might find it fashionable, others find it downright disgusting. Sold outside subway stops and malls in Beijing, the bubbles usually contain colored water or beads and cost around $1.50.
Already condemned by animal rights groups around the world, China has very little animal protections in place. Especially since the trinkets are unregulated, they vary wildly in size and instructions on how long to keep them.
David Neale, the animal welfare director of Animals Asia gave CNN a scathing report, saying “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. 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.”
Unfortunately, that animal protection law has not been enacted yet, meaning the widespread distribution of live keychains continues.
Not only dangerous for the animal, Neale also describes how the animals (mentioning turtles especially) can carry diseases like salmonella and pose a great risk to the owners once let out of the bubble. There is one way to avoid the diseases completely – don’t buy animals that are trapped in a small plastic bubble.