Punjab Takes Steps Towards Banning Leather Shoes For School Uniforms

PETA Inquiry Leads Director of Education to Recommend That Schools Give Cruelly Produced and Eco-Unfriendly Leather the Boot

For Immediate Release:

30 June 2011


Benazir Suraiya +91 9004547382; [email protected]

Himani Shetty +9122 40727382; [email protected] 

Chandigarh – In response to a letter from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India – which detailed the cruel and toxic processes by which cows are killed and have their skins turned into leather – the Director of Education of Punjab has issued a memorandum strongly recommending that Punjab schools immediately ban leather shoes in favour of less expensive, animal- and eco-friendly canvas shoes. “It is strongly recommended to stop the atrocities against such innocent animals … by reducing the consumption of leather,” he wrote. The Himachal Pradesh government has also taken steps towards banning leather shoes as a part of school uniforms.

“By taking a step towards reducing violence against animals, Punjab – like Himachal Pradesh – is proving that it is a progressive state that cares about the welfare of animals and the environment,”, says PETA India’s Himani Shetty. “We are confident that more states will follow their example and that we will continue to move towards a day when all schools in India are leather-free.”

PETA’s undercover investigations have revealed that cows used by the leather industry are often beaten and forced to march long distances in searing heat to their deaths. Many collapse from hunger, exhaustion, injury or illness. To get the cows back on their feet, handlers often twist the animals’ tails until they break or rub chilli peppers into the animals’ eyes. Other animals are transported in lorries, which are often so severely crowded that many suffer serious injuries or die when they are crushed or gored by the horns of others. At abattoirs, many animals are skinned and dismembered while they are still conscious.  

Turning the skins of cows, buffaloes, sheep and goats into leather requires massive amounts of toxic chemicals. The runoff from leather tanneries poisons local rivers and streams. The toxic chemicals that tannery workers are exposed to on a daily basis have been linked to nervous disorders, skin and respiratory infections and cancer.

A copy of PETA’s correspondence is available upon request. Broadcast-quality video footage of the treatment of animals for leather in India is available at this link: http://www.petatv.com/tvpopup/video.asp?video=skin-trade-ili&Player=wm   

For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.