Reptile Skin Trade Under Fire

Photo:  Bryan Christy

Photo: c. Bryan Christy

We slaughter animals–for food, for fashion.  Below is a story running today in Indonesia.  I had a chance to spend time inside an Indonesian reptile slaughterhouse, a major source for US and European skins.  It wasn’t pretty.  Some of the videos are on my site.  One of the photos ran alongside my latest National Geographic story.

Most snake and lizard skin products you see in fashion are from animals caught in the wild.  I don’t buy snake or lizard skin products anymore, although I used to.  I do eat meat.  And fish.  Every year I say I’ll make time to hunt again.   I commend PETA for raising the issue of standard of care of reptiles.  It reminds me what I’m willing to stomach, what I’m not, and why…

From the Jakarta Post today:

Activists rally to campaign against exotic-skin trade
Hasyim Widhiarto,  The Jakarta Post 04/07/2010

A dozen of animal right activists staged Wednesday a rally on Jl. Sudirman, Central Jakarta, campaigning for an end to exotic animal skin trade for fashion products.

Spokeswoman for the Asia-Pacific’s People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Ashley Fruno said the rally was held to follow up the organization’s investigation, which found that millions of animals such as snakes, lizards  and crocodiles were poached, netted and killed in Indonesia cruelly to produce fashion items such as boots, belts and handbags.

“People must know this and stop buying fashion products made from such material,” she told reporters.

Dressed in grim reaper costumes with hoods, masks and scythes, the activists planned to rally in front of the Hermes counter in nearby Pacific Place mall but were forbidden by the mall’s security guards.

In its press release, PETA said leading shoe producer Nike, along with its affiliate Cole Haan, and international fashion store H&M had agreed to stop selling products made from exotic animal skin. It is now calling on companies such as Hermes to end the sale of these products too.

Copyright © 2008 The Jakarta Post – PT Bina Media Tenggara. All Rights Reserved.

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