In a landmark decision that will spare the lives of tens of thousands of animals from the cruel exotic leather industries, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade has banned the import of skins of reptiles, mink, fox and chinchillas. The notification was issued in the wake of exhaustive campaigning for the ban by Humane Society International/India, People for Animals and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in urging the Government of India to take a clear moral stand by closing its doors to the trade of reptile skins and fur.
The ban comes after Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Union Cabinet Minister of Women and Child Development, wrote a letter to Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State (IC) Commerce and Industry, pressing the need to curb cruelty towards animals by prohibiting the import of these skins. The Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change and Animal Welfare Board of India further supported the need to bring in the ban.
Lauding this policy stance that is in consonance with the anti-cruelty laws of India, trustee of People for Animals and HSI/India’s government liaison, Gauri Maulekhi, said, “We commend the Directorate General of Foreign Trade and MoEFCC for its firm commitment in abolishing the import of exotic skins and fur. The exotic skin, fur and leather industry slaughters, bludgeons and skins millions of animals every year in the name of frivolous fashion. Fashion designers and brands around the world are switching to cruelty-free alternatives and we are glad that India is gradually emulating similar policies to reduce and eliminate unnecessary pain and suffering to animals.”
- Tens of thousands of animals like crocodiles, alligators, fox, minks and others are held captive in factory farms for their fur and skin. The methods used in factory farms are remarkably poor and designed to maximize profits, always at the expense of the animals.
- Crocodiles, alligators and other reptiles are crowded in barren concrete pits for months or even years before being skinned alive or slaughtered for their skins which are used for making luxury bags, belts, watchbands and other products.
- Thousands of minks and scores of foxes are kept in rows of filthy, wire-floored cages until they are gassed and finally slaughtered for their fur.
- The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960 only allows the slaughter of animals for subsistence, and this too is regulated to minimize the pain and suffering of animals.
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