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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.






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