These are live animal keychains, and they are the shocking latest must-have accessory to hit China. Basically, they are live animals – such as turtles, fish, salamanders, and frogs – kept inside a tiny plastic “tank,” and attached to a keyring. The animals can only wiggle around in the water, which is said to have added oxygen and nutrients to keep them alive for a few days.
The keychain manufacturers tell consumers to release the animals when they run out of oxygen. But this is problematic in two ways. Firstly, how are we to know when they are becoming deprived of oxygen, and secondly, where do we release them into?
Animal rights activists have attacked the craze. They point to the cruelty of keeping the creatures in such cramped conditions, as well as the fact that many will simply let the animals die and then discard of the keyrings.
And now, a petition has been started to lobby the Chinese government into banning this practice. You can sign the petition here.
We hope that these monstrosities swiftly disappear.