A PETA Asia investigation—the first of its kind—into China’s badger-brush industry reveals that “protected” badgers are illegally captured in the wild using snares and other cruel methods and that others are bred and confined to small cages on farms before being violently killed for paint, makeup, and shaving brushes.
After PETA shared the video footage, L’Oréal Group, Procter & Gamble’s The Art of Shaving, Beau Brummell, Olivina Men, Caswell-Massey, The New York Shaving Company, Morphe and many other companies made the compassionate decision to ban badger hair.
Driven Insane in Tiny Cages
PETA Asia eyewitnesses visited multiple badger farms across China, which exports badger-hair brushes to countries worldwide. On every farm, they documented hellish living conditions, including being confined to cramped wire cages and often suffering from severe, untreated injuries. One badger’s leg had even been bitten off by another 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 “bathroom” 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 with whatever object was handy. One badger 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 floor, after which they cut his throat and left him to bleed out in excruciating pain, like all the other badgers 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 illegally captured using snares and other cruel methods—even though they are a protected species.
When PETA Asia’s eyewitness asked how factories obtain badger hair, company representatives blatantly advised the eyewitness to lie to potential buyers, saying, “Sometimes foreigners ask if the hair was from wild or captive animals—they have animal protection organizations there, don’t they? You can just tell them that most are from captive badgers, but actually most come from the wild.”
Is There Cruelty in Your Makeup or Shaving Kit?
If you buy animal-hair brushes, there’s no way to know who was killed for them. Most of the badger hair used in brushes comes from China, where there are few animal-welfare regulations. Brushes may be manufactured there or in other countries.
PETA Asia eyewitnesses also found that brush factories do not hesitate to abuse humans, either, just to turn a profit. One eyewitness was told that factories employ workers who are paid as little as $4 for an eight-hour workday—far below even the local minimum wage, which is about $2.50 per hour, or $20 per day.
You Can Help Stop This
There’s no reason to use animal-hair brushes—whether for makeup, men’s grooming, or art supplies—especially when there are so many high-quality, animal-free alternatives available. For the sake of badgers suffering on fur farms, please buy only synthetic brushes.
Please send e-mails to the following executives urging them to ban badger hair:
- King’s Crown Co-Owners Marianne and Bernadette Taggio at [email protected]
- Col. Ichabod Conk Products, Inc. Owner Dee Wright at [email protected]
- West Coast Shaving President Aviv Shamah at [email protected]
- Smallflower President Anthony Qaiyum at [email protected]
- Perfume Emporium CEO Les Dualba at [email protected] and Co-owner Craig Dualba [email protected]
Then fill out the form below to urge Dick Blick Art Materials and others still profiting from this abuse to drop badger-hair brushes immediately in favor of cruelty-free vegan options.