PETITION - The Horror Behind the Global Leather Trade
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Every year, the global leather industry slaughters more than a billion animals. Most of the leather in the U.S. and Europe comes from India, China, and other countries that either have no animal welfare laws or have laws that go largely or completely unenforced. Six years after a PETA investigation into the Indian leather industry prompted the Indian government to promise to make improvements in the transport and slaughter conditions endured by cows and other animals killed for their skin, PETA investigators have found virtually no improvements—the animals are still grotesquely abused in ways that violate Indian law and shock the conscience of all kind people.
As India's own animal protection laws are blatantly ignored, unsanitary slaughterhouses continue to pollute the environment; unlicensed, illegal slaughterhouses remain in operation; and the widespread abuse of animals persists. In direct violation of the Constitution of India, cows, who are supposed to be sacred in India, are marched for days without food or water. Those who collapse from exhaustion have their eyes smeared with chili peppers and tobacco and their tails broken in an effort to keep them moving. Crammed into extremely crowded illegal transport trucks for the long journey to slaughter, many are trampled or gored during the ride. Because India's animal transport and slaughter laws are not enforced, many of the animals used for leather are so sick and injured by the time they arrive at the slaughterhouse that they must be dragged inside. Once inside, their throats are cut open—often with dirty, blunt knives and in full view of one another—on floors that are covered with feces, blood, guts, and urine. Some animals are even skinned and dismembered while they are still conscious.
If you're wearing leather, it most likely came from China, because China is the world's leading exporter of leather. In addition to the cattle, sheep, and other animals who are turned into leather in China, an estimated 2 million cats and dogs in China are killed for their skins each year. Confined to wire cages in which they can barely move, these animals are routinely skinned alive and hacked apart, piece by piece, until they bleed to death. Many products made from the skins of dogs and cats are bought unknowingly by consumers, because the products are often intentionally mislabeled and do not accurately indicate their origin.
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