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OBJECTS OF DESIRE: ‘Lucky bag of pets’ scheme in China sparks outrage among animal rights advocacy groups

'It is not just the vendors who lack a conscience, but consumers too. Would you put a three-year-old child in a gift box?', said Isobel Zhang, co-founder of the ACTAsia.

SCMP: In China, animal rights groups are up in arms over a reprehensible trend of selling “lucky bags” of pets in the mail… The marketing gimmick allows consumers to choose the type of pet they want, but not the breed, color or size, so they get the thrill of a surprise when it arrives… The practice has its origins in the Japanese New Year custom known as fukubukuro, in which merchants fill bags with random contents and sell them at a discount.

In China, you can find turtles, dogs, rabbits, hamsters and cats for sale online, with prices ranging from US$1.50 to US$155, according to local news reports. One online store claims to sell Siberian Husky, German Shepherd and Golden Retriever puppies for as little as US$77 each, while its American Shorthair, British Shorthair and Ragdoll cats go for between US$31 and US$62…

“Would you put a three-year-old child in a gift box?”, said Isobel Zhang, co-founder of the Chinese brand of ACTAsia, a British charity that promotes animal welfare throughout the Asia-Pacific region… The concept of selling and buying pets online and sending them via the postal service in boxes was reprehensible, Zhang said. “It is not just the vendors who lack a conscience, but consumers too,” she said…

While the practice of sending animals through the post outlawed in China, and most large courier firms refusing to carry them, some smaller companies are brazenly flouting the regulations, The Beijing News quoted an industry insider as saying. SOURCE…

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