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ARCHIVE - Tears Of A Cow, India's Leather Trade


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Fallen cows lie amid blood, feces, guts, urine. Workers drag them to kill floors for dismemberment with dull, filthy knives. Some are conscious while cut and skinned. During transport animals crush one another aboard rickety trucks. Drivers break legs and necks to cram in more. Some suffer broken tails over and over until swollen, tumor-like joints jut from their hind ends…

These are the cows, buffalo, sheep and goats of India’s leather trade. Urge government officials and the Council for Leather Exports to recognize ongoing abuse and initiate animal welfare reforms now.

TOP LEFT PHOTO from PETA / Karremann. Cows are not so "sacred" when used for leather in India, the world’s largest leather exporter. Cows, buffalo, sheep and goats are walking dead, trucked without water and food while beaten for hundreds of miles across the Indian border. If an animal collapses, her tail is broken. Or her eyes are rubbed with chili powder, until they burn unbearably and tears roll down her face.

BOTTOM LEFT PHOTO from PETA / Karremann. On crude kill floors, throats are cut with dull knives and animals are bled on hooks. Some are skinned while conscious. Are jackets, shoes and belts worth this?

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Dr. K. Elangovan, His Excellency Manmohan Singh, Minister Shri Kamal Nath, Commerce & Industry,

Please initiate humane standards for the transport and slaughter of cows, buffaloes, sheep and goats used in the Indian leather trade.

I urge the Council for Leather Exports to recognize ongoing animal abuse within the leather industry and implement animal welfare guidelines now.

I respectfully ask government officials to enforce anti-cruelty laws and penalize workers who batter and overload animals; deprive animals of food, water and shelter; sell abused animals; or inhumanely slaughter animals.

Graphic documentation shows pervasive and unlawful abuse, including unsanitary and hazardous conditions inside slaughterhouses. Fallen cows lie on floors splattered with blood, feces, guts and urine. Workers drag animals into abattoirs where they often cut them apart with filthy, dull knives. Some animals remain conscious as they are skinned and dismembered.

Animals gouge and crush each other while transported hundreds of miles in rickety trucks. Drivers break their legs and necks to cram in more animals. Investigators have found bullocks and cows tethered by strings pierced through their noses. They’ve seen animals whose tails were broken so many times, swollen, tumor-like joints protruded from their tail areas.

Despite assurances from Indian officials, no visible improvements have been made. Animals are still transported under wretched conditions. Slaughter facilities are still unhygienic. Unlicensed abattoirs still operate. Small calves are still illegally butchered to process as leather.

Please strengthen animal protections laws in India. I am eager to know about any reforms that actually enhance the lives of animals.

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Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India:
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Dr. K. Elangovan, IAS, Executive Director
Council for Leather Exports
3rd Floor, CMDA Tower II
Gandhi Irwin Bridge Road
Egmore, Chennai 600 008
ph: 91-44-28594367; fax: 91-44-28594363/64

His Excellency Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India
Room 152, South Block
New Delhi 110 001
ph: 91-(0)11-23012312; fax: 91-(0)11-23016857
web email:
spacer Shri Kamal Nath, Minister of Commerce & Industry
Government of India
Udyog Bhawan
New Delhi 110 011
ph: 91-(0)11-23061008
fax: 91-(0)11-23061492

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