By:
08-03-2016

Ethical Concerns Raised About Decorative Feathers Used In Brazilian Carnival.

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An e-petition has been launched on Change.org regarding animal welfare concerns relating to Brazilian Carnival parades. The feathers used to adorn the elaborate and colourful costumes worn by parade dancers, it is alleged, are harvested from living birds which causes the animals agony and distress. The birds endure the procedure several times throughout their lives and must endure pain and discomfort during the aftermath. The unethical procurement of decorative feathers for Brazilian Carnivals is regarded as a stain on the world-famous event's reputation and the petition calls for the truth to be brought to light, the practice to be stopped and for alternative options to be sought.

The dark-side of Carnival.

Carnivals occur throughout the Roman Catholic world and allow celebrants to engage in collective revelry and excess before the Lenten period that is characterised in part by sombre contemplation and self-denial.
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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's second-largest city, is home to the world's largest Carnival that stretches over several days and includes street food, alcoholic beverages, traditional Samba music, block parties and street parades featuring beautiful women in ornate attire. Costumes are often adorned with large, colourful feathers that are plucked from the magnificent plumages of birds such as geese, ostriches, peacocks and pheasants with detrimental effects to the animals themselves.

Brazil a major importer of feathers.

Most of the feathers used to decorate Brazilian Carnival costumes are imported into the country from places such as China, India and South Africa where the birds are raised and the feathers harvested. Peacocks, for example, are thought to originate from the Indian subcontinent and have been admired for their beautiful plumage for millennia while ostriches are indigenous to sub-Saharan Africa. The trade in feathers for Carnival makes Brazil one of the largest importers of feathers in the world and in creating such a demand the country could be accused of complicity in the unethical treatment of birds farmed for their feathers.
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