This little mammal, a distant cousin of the civet, is very common in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where their strength and agility allow them to hold their own against impressive predators, such as cobras.However, this species is seriously threatened by human activity. They are hunted in their thousands every year in India for their fur, their skin, and their meat.While the sale and purchase of mongooses along with their fur and meat were banned in India in 1972, illegal trafficking of these animals continues to worsen every year as the worldwide demand for fur increases.
Mongoose hunting is particularly violent. The animals are captured in nets and then beaten to death before being cut up on the spot.Each animal produces around forty grams of hair, the equivalent of one small handful. In August 2015, Indian authorities seized more than 10 pounds of fur,meaning that 130 animals were killed for their fur.The majority of which is used to make brushes. Jose Louies, a member of the Wildlife Trust of India, described:
Domestic trade is decreasing, but international trade is still growing in demand. For artists all over the world, brushes made with mongoose hair continue to be top quality products.
Source: Wildlife Trust of India
To deceive authorities, these brushes, which are sold in Europe, the Middle East and the United States are officially listed as containing weasel and badger hair, which is legal. In 2015, more than 14,000 mongoose hair brushes were seized in one town in southwest India.The 1972 wildlife protection act mandates a minimal sentence of three years and a fine of 10,000 rupees (roughly $155) for all those directly or indirectly involved in this illegal trade.To put at end to this massacre, a large number of brands have attempted to recreate mongoose fur synthetically. Whilst these brushes are not always of such a high quality as the originals, plenty of artists and painters are happy with the synthetic equivalent.
Despite the non-stop fight by animal defense organizations like PETA and the foundation 30 Millions d'Amis, the number of animals killed for their pelts has augmented by 10% each year globally in the past decade. Europe contains 70% of breeding for fur in the world.
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