PETA Protests Ganga Leather Pollution

Posted on by PETA

Wearing head-to-toe yellow biohazard suits while standing in the Ganga and holding signs that read, “Stop Ganges Pollution – Go Leather Free!” two members of PETA India protested the toxic leather industry in Kolkata to mark World Water Week from 1 to 6 September. The deadly effluents from leather tanneries have helped make the Ganga one of the most polluted rivers in the world and are responsible for fouling water resources across India and around the world.

ganges demo

The Financial Times reported about the Ganga in March: “In the industrial city of Kanpur, a third of the way down the river, the number of tanneries producing leather for world markets has more than doubled to 400 since a common effluent treatment plant to tackle pollution of the Ganga was commissioned in 1994. The tanneries – whose waste includes dyes, salt, acids and the carcinogenic heavy metal chromium – often fail to carry out primary treatment of their waste and in any case produce too much for the central plant to handle. Black, malodorous water can be seen flowing straight into the water down a large open drain from the tannery district”.

Runoff from leather tanneries has also been linked to cancer, respiratory infections and other illnesses in humans.

Leather also takes a massive toll on animals. PETA India and PETA US undercover investigations have revealed that cows and other animals killed for leather in India are often so severely crowded in trucks on their way to slaughter that many are injured or die en route. At slaughterhouses, many animals are skinned and dismembered while still conscious.

Want to save our sacred river and stop cruelty to animals at the same time? Then pledge to refuse to wear animal skins.