Organisation - January 12, 2006

Shaving brush

A batch of classy shaving brushes was confiscated by the Dutch authorities because they contained hairs from the protected Eurasian badger. A perfumery chain has asked researchers to determine which badger breeds are involved by carrying out DNA analysis. Alterra researcher Hugh Jansman worked on the matter with four Spanish and one British researcher, and published the results in Biological Conservation. Mostly the hairs used for luxury shaving brushes come from Southeast Asian hog badgers. Most of the brushes in the confiscated load came were manufactured in China, and had convincing certificates that showed that the hairs came from local badger breeds. But in four brushes hairs were found of the protected breed Meles meles, the Eurasian badger. It is not clear yet what the consequences of the findings will be. Jansman expects that the perfumery chain will try to obtain an exemption for shaving brushes with Asian and Caucasian Meles meles sub-breeds. / MW

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