There are plenty of souvenirs one can bring home from China. Such as tea, patterned chopsticks, jewellery, silk and more.
However, it was recently discovered that heartless vendors have been making profits through live animal keychains which were mainly being sold as souvenirs.
The controversial act has been discovered by The Star Online recently during a trip to Xiamen, China. Despite several ongoing petitions to ban this conduct, live animal keychains still remain publicly on sale at a tourist market in downtown Xiamen.
The so-called ”Pet key chain” would cost anywhere between 15 yuan to 20 yuan (RM9.70-RM12.90). A wide selection of ”pets” are available to be purchased such as baby terrapin, fish, and salamanders. The animals are sealed inside tiny plastic pouches filled with oxygenated water that have been dyed in a variety of bright, florescent colors.
A single pellet is also sealed inside the pouch that serves as food for the animals. A sign by the stall claimed that the the animals would not need to be fed for up to three months.
According to Ecohydrology professor Sam Walton, the lack of oxygen and food will not be the only thing that could potentially kill the animals, assuming they do survive that long. Dr Walton held that there might possibly be sufficient food and oxygen in the pouch but the animal’s own waste from digestion and respiratory is toxic and would also kill them.
However according to Dr Walton, one factor that would kill the animals before all else would be the shock of being shaken around. “Aquatic animals are very sensitive to temperature fluctuations so being in a bag is like being in a greenhouse. The temperature shock and physical shock of being shaken around will probably kill the animals before anything else,” he said.
The controversial keychains first went viral years ago, and ever since several petitions have been going on, calling for the Chinese government to ban the sale of the live animal keychains.
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