New Prohibition Means International Fashion Houses No Longer Able to Peddle Cruel Reptile Skin Products in India

For Immediate Release:
5 January 2017

Olivia Jordan +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 229; [email protected]


Country Prohibits Importation of Reptile Skins, Certain Furs Following Efforts by PETA India

New Delhi – After hearing from PETA India about the extreme suffering of reptiles killed for leather clothing and accessories, the Indian Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), in a sign of the times, issued a notification prohibiting the importation of reptile skins into India, as well the fur of chinchillas, minks, and foxes.

“Animals are not fabric, and we commend the Indian government for recognising that fact and setting an example for other countries to follow”, says PETA Director of International Programmes Mimi Bekhechi. “These days, it’s easy to have a look that kills without killing – with fake snake, mock croc, and other designer items that mimic animals’ beauty without harming them – and we hope that this move will encourage fashion houses to embrace innovative vegan fabrics and stop peddling products derived from animal suffering.”

In December 2016, PETA released a video exposé of crocodile farms in Vietnam – including two that say they supply skins to a tannery owned by Louis Vuitton‘s parent company, LVMH, which has not denied the allegations – revealing that reptiles lay motionless in thousands of tiny concrete cells, some shorter than their own bodies, for 15 months before finally being slaughtered. Others were jam-packed by the dozens into barren concrete pits. At another farm, workers hacked into thrashing crocodiles’ necks and rammed metal rods down their spines as blood poured from the wounds, and one crocodile was shown still moving after being skinned.

In 2015, PETA released another exposé of two factory farms in Zimbabwe and one in Texas that supply crocodile and alligator skins to Hermès-owned tanneries. On the Texas farm, the necks of reptiles were sawed open – and some animals still moved minutes after they had been attacked with a knife or box cutter in a crude effort to slaughter them.

Other video exposés released by PETA US have shown that snakes are commonly nailed to trees and that their bodies are cut open from one end to the other as they are skinned alive, in the belief that live flaying keeps the skins supple. Their mutilated bodies are then discarded, but because of their slow metabolism, it can take hours for them to die. Lizards are often decapitated, and some writhe in agony as their skin is torn off them.

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