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Live Key Chains For Sale In China

This subject is disturbing to Westerners, but to the Chinese it is just another day. Culturally our belief in animal rights and theirs are as different as our languages are. Every day in China people are buying key chains that contain live turtles, salamanders, and fish enclosed in a plastic pouch filled with colored water and an herbal solution. The creatures die slowly over a period of one to three months.Live Turtle Keychain (You Tube Image)Live Turtle Keychain (You Tube Image)

Key chains with live fish in them were sold by vendors during the summer Olympics in 2008 and were mostly bought by children in city of Qingdao, where the sailing events were being held. Fish were one of the mascots of the Beijing Olympic Games. These particular fish reportedly only had hours to live.

The key chains more recently started showing up for sale on the streets of China in early 2011. These street vendors are usually seen selling around the entrances to subways and in train stations. The key chains are considered to bring good luck. The price for each one of these items is equivalent to about 80 cents in the United States. 

Animal rights activists and environmentalists are protesting the sale of the live key chains, but there is little that they can do.  The Chinese government is suspicious of environmental groups so the groups have no sway with government officials. China only has a Wild Animal Protection Act and these creatures do not qualify for protection under the act, presumably because they are considered pets. There are no laws against cruelty to animals in China.

Realistically, the best activists can hope for at this time is to appeal to individuals not to purchase the key chains and let the lack of demand kill the market.  Nevertheless, there is an online petition against the petition.

Sources: PetPardons, Snopes

Laurie Kay Olson
Animal News Blogger

Jul 25, 2012
by Anonymous
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I'd go to one of these

I'd go to one of these vendors and buy them all and try and safe the animals!!

Jul 26, 2012
by Anonymous
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Unfortunately, the next day

Unfortunately, the next day there would probably be twice as many for sale.

Aug 15, 2012
by Anonymous
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horrible! The Chinese will

horrible! The Chinese will always find a way to exploit something in order to make a buck!

Now here is a great way to help African crafters: Check out their beaded animal key chains http://www.wow-imports.com

Aug 28, 2014
by Anonymous
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i'd go to one of these

i'd go to one of these vendors and lock his ass in a balloon. If the next day there would be twice as many vendors, i will bring a bigger balloon.

Aug 28, 2014
by Anonymous
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You're supposed to cut the

You're supposed to cut the plastic and release them or keep them as pets when you get home, genius. Sensationalized article..

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