The Cruel Business of Mongoose Hair Paintbrushes
Mongooses in India are snared and clubbed in large numbers so their fur can be turned into paintbrushes for Americans and Europeans.
The fearsome mongoose. It can fight a cobra, kill a snake with one bite, and keep a farmer’s field clear of mice, rats, and insects.
But to some in India, which is home to six species of the ferret-like animal, they’re valuable in another way. Their fur makes expensive—and illegal—paintbrushes for artists.
As long ago as 1972, India prohibited the hunting, selling, and buying of mongooses and mongoose parts, including their hair, because of overhunting for their fur. Yet the poaching and the black market continue to this day. As recently as August, Indian officials arrested people suspected of smuggling 12 pounds of mongoose hair, the equivalent of more than 130 animals, the New Indian Express reported.
In the early 2000s