19 Photos That Tell a Sickening Story About the Global Leather Industry
A new exposé of cattle ranches in Brazil that supply JBS SA – the largest leather processor in the world – shows how cows and bulls are abused before being killed so that their skins can be used to line car interiors.
Dragged From Their Mothers
Faces Branded With Hot Irons
To show ownership of the calves, workers on ranches that supply cattle to JBS used hot irons to brand them on the face – without any pain relief and counter to the minimum animal-welfare recommendations by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture. Older cattle were also forced into chutes, where they panicked and kicked as workers branded them on the back.
Panic, Beatings and Bloody Wounds
On the ranches, cows were forced into tight chutes for handling. The intense crowding led cows to panic and trample each other. Workers then kicked them and yanked them by their ears and tails. In desperation, some cattle tried to jump fences to escape. The eyewitness also saw a calf with a severe maggot infestation, a cow with a swollen head and cows with open, bloody wounds.
Electroshocked on Their Way to Slaughter
When cows are roughly 3 years old, the ranchers send them to JBS-owned abattoirs. Workers jab cows around the anus with metal-tipped sticks and electric shock prods to force them onto the cramped lorries used to take them to slaughter.
Killed, Skinned, Exported
Every year, millions of cows are killed in several JBS abattoirs in Brazil. Workers slit their throats before hacking off their skin and sending it to JBS tanneries, which produce leather for the automotive, furniture, footwear and accessories industries worldwide. Automotive leather suppliers require at least three adult cows’ hides to produce just one complete leather interior. In 2015, JBS’ 26 factories on three continents produced 10 million hides.
You Can Help Us End This Cruelty
General Motors, Volkswagen and Toyota are among dozens of major car companies connected to JBS, including the following:
Please ask them to stop lining their cars with the skins of abused animals.