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"Blind box" pet craze causes outrage
Published on: 2021-05-07
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Chinese netizens have urged authorities to crack down on the illegal practice of delivering animals via "blind boxes" after local media reported that 160 puppies and kittens had been rescued from a warehouse in the city of Chengdu on Monday.
 

The animals were held in boxes and disguised as regular express deliveries by local merchants selling pets online.
 

They were ready to be dispatched to locations throughout China, until animal welfare volunteers intervened, the reports said. Four animals were already dead and many are infected with viruses, the local media reports said,adding that law enforcement officials were investigating the matter.
 

The courier company involved, ZTO Express, issued a public apology on Tuesday. It also suspended some local services and promised to "adopt effective measures" to ensure it complied with regulations.
 

The "blind box" phenomenon - in which consumers can buy unlabelled packages containing random novelty gifts from retailers - has become popular in China. They have also been used to trade and deliver smaller animals like tortoises, hamsters and spiders.
 

Mailing any kind of live animal is in violation of China's animal safety and disease control regulations, which have been strengthened after COVID-19.
 

"Buyers, sellers, the retail platform, and the couriers are all guilty. I can't imagine how anyone can do this," said another Weibo user.
 

最低几块钱,“宠物盲盒”电商平台仍在卖

中国网民纷纷敦促有关部门严打通过“盲盒”贩卖动物的非法行为。此前,160多只小猫小狗在成都某快递网点被志愿者救下。当地报道称,这些动物都被通过线上销售宠物的商家装在快递盒子中,并被伪装成普通快递货物。在动物福利志愿者介入之前,它们即将被发往全国各地,包括1700公里之外的深圳。其中一些动物在被发现时已经死亡,其他许多动物都已染病。执法人员正对此事展开调查。
 

“拒绝运输活体动物!”一名网民发帖称,“散发恶臭的动物尸体滋生各种病菌,会污染周围的包裹……这显然是一种旨在牟取个人私利的非法行为”。
 

“盲盒”销售正在中国大行其道,消费者从零售商那里购买没有标记的包裹,里面装有随机新奇礼物。但这种形式也被用于贩卖和运送乌龟、仓鼠和蜘蛛等小型活体动物。
 

在中国,邮寄任何活体动物的行为都违反动物安全与疾病控制法规,有关规定在新冠疫情暴发后已得到强化。一名网民评论说:“买家、卖家、零售平台和快递公司全都难辞其咎。我无法想象会有人干出这种事。”

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