Soft, shining hair and a cruelty free boar bristle brush
Before buying a boar bristle brush I reached out to Mason and Pearson because I had concerns about animal welfare. They assured me that no animals were harmed. This is their response:
Thank you for contacting Mason Pearson.
Our boar bristle is sourced from both India and China and is harvested from two methods:
Collected from the forests surrounding the villages where the wild boars live and once they rub / scratch their backs against trees, the shed bristle is collected
As a by-product of the meat industry
I must stress that animal welfare is very important to us and no animals are harmed for their bristle.
1) The bristles are a by-product of the food chain.
In India, China etc. the little black-haired pigs running around in the village, as we would have chickens, geese and goats in Europe, are wild boar, as a breed, that are being reared for food. So there is a stream of semi-domestic animals available each year where bristle is a by-product. It would not be economic for a village to feed such animals for bristle alone, unless the hair is removed each year, and we do not know whether this is practical. Given that these animals are quite capable of looking after themselves in a fight, it would be hazardous to expect one to remove bristle while they are alive. They are treated in the village as part of its way of life and not as animals hunted down specifically for their hair.
The bristle is collected to comply with the EU Regulations on importing Products of Animal Origin. This is taken from animals slaughtered for their meat, with the bristle being a by-product. The regulations require that there is a veterinary certificate for the slaughterhouse inspected by a veterinarian approved by EU and a disinfection certificate to the relevant standard for the material from the processing plant.
2) The shed bristles are gathered by locals as a supplementary income.
We also understand that there is another, wilder breed. These are the ones which moult and the hair is collected.
Mason Pearson Bros. Ltd
Tel: 020 7491 2613
Fax: 020 7499 6235