Brushes are used to create beauty, but PETA’s new exposé reveals ugly cruelty to badgers whose hair is used for make-up, shaving, and paint brushes
Driven Insane in Tiny Cages
Eyewitnesses visited multiple badger farms across China, which exports badger-hair brushes to countries worldwide. On every farm, they documented hellish conditions for the animals, including being confined to cramped wire cages and often suffering from severe, untreated injuries. One’s leg had even been chewed off by a badger in a nearby cage.
Badgers are extremely social animals who, in nature, construct elaborate underground burrow systems called setts. Some setts are centuries old and have been inhabited by many generations of the same badger clan. These fastidious animals have separate rooms for sleeping and giving birth as well as designated “toilet” areas outside the setts.
But on badger-hair farms, these animals are deprived of the opportunity to dig, forage for food, choose mates, or do anything else that would make their lives worth living, causing many to go insane – continually pacing back and forth and spinning in circles inside their cages.
Bashed in the Head and Left Bleeding
To kill them, workers bashed the badgers in the head withwhatever object was handy. One animal was hit in the head with a chair leg. Because he was too frightened to leave his cage, workers hit him again, causing him to fall onto the wet floor, after which they cut his throat and left him to bleed out in excruciating pain, just like all the others who had been killed before him.
One badger was still moving for a full minute after his throat was cut.
Other badgers who are killed to make brushes are hunted illegally, using snares and other cruel methods – even though they’re a protected species.
When the eyewitness asked how farms obtain badgers, company representatives blatantly advised the eyewitness to lie to potential buyers, saying, “Sometimes foreigners ask if the hair was from wild or captive animals. … You can just tell them that most are from captive badgers, but actually most come from the wild.”
Is There Cruelty in Your Make-Up or Shaving Kit?
If you buy animal-hair brushes, there’s no way to know who was killed for them. Many of these brushes are manufactured in developing countries where there are few animal-welfare regulations – or none at all, as in China.
The eyewitnesses also found that brush factories don’t hesitate to abuse humans, either, just to turn a profit. One eyewitness was told that factories employ workers who are paid as little as AUD$5.57 for an eight-hour workday – far below even the local minimum wage, which is AUD$3.44 per hour, or AUD$27.53 per day.
You Can Help Stop This!
There’s no reason to use animal-hair brushes, especially when there are so many high-quality synthetic ones available. For the sake of badgers suffering on these farms, please, buy only synthetic brushes.