An exposé of China's badger-brush industry has revealed the extreme suffering of badgers slaughtered for their hair which is used for paint, make-up, and shaving brushes.
According to the investigation, by vegan charity PETA Asia, 'protected' badgers are 'illegally hunted and killed in the wild using snares and other cruel methods and then confined to small cages on farms before being violently killed'.
The charity says the brushes are sold by companies such as Amazon and others around the world.
'Beaten with chair legs'
"PETA Asia's investigation – which is the first of its kind and encompasses Chinese badger-hair farms and live-animal markets visited in 2017 and 2018 – shows workers beating crying badgers on the head with anything they can find, including a chair leg, before slitting their throats," says the organization.
"One badger continued to move for a full minute after his or her throat was cut and that another was missing a foot, which the farm owner attributed to a fight with another badger caged nearby. Badgers on the farms were confined to tiny wire cages exposed to the elements, and the stressful conditions often led to injuries and severe psychological disorders."
PETA Director, Elisa Allen, added: "Gentle badgers were beaten with crude instruments, cut open, and left to die, all for badger-hair make-up and shaving brushes. PETA is calling on companies and consumers alike to reject these hideous blood brushes and embrace animal-free ones that no one had to suffer and die for."
WARNING: Viewers may find this video upsetting
Ditching badger hair
As a result of PETA's exposé, major conglomerate Proctor & Gamble (which tests a range of products on animals) has pledged to ditch badger hair.
"When PETA reached out to P&G about this report on the badger hair industry, we were very disturbed to learn of these terrible practices. While we have no evidence that any of our suppliers are engaging in these types of methods, we believe we can play a role in helping to stop such practices," a P&G spokesperson said.
"With this in mind, we have decided to stop sourcing badger hair immediately in our The Art of Shaving business. In addition, while we finish selling our existing inventory of shaving brushes, we will accelerate our efforts to develop even better alternatives for the future. These commitments are in keeping with P&G's ongoing efforts to pursue non-animal alternatives."