PETA India: Prevent Another Pandemic by Prohibiting the Import and Export of Wild Animal Skins, Fur

For Immediate Release:

19 July 2022


Hiraj Laljani; [email protected]

Harshil Maheshwari; [email protected]

Group Urges Government to Amend Export Import (EXIM) Policy

Delhi – Because fur farming encourages the spread and mutation of COVID-19 – and because experts warn confining and killing wild animals for their skins risks causing future epidemics, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has urged the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) to amend the country’s EXIM Policy to reinstate and expand prohibitions on the import and export of the skins and fur of wild animals as well as items made with those materials. The group met Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Shri Bhupender Yadav on 13 July and urged him to advise the MoCI to restrict the trade of these items. India had previously prohibited the import of the skins and fur of certain wild animals – a decision that was reversed last year.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, minks on fur farms were found to have contracted the virus from humans and to be able to pass it back to humans, including in mutated form. Cases of the novel coronavirus were recorded on fur farms in Canada, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the United States – prompting many countries to prohibit or phase out fur farming. Experts have also warned the trade in skins of “exotic” species, such as pythons and crocodiles, for fashion accessories increases the risk of dangerous viruses spreading to humans.

“Animals exploited for their skin and fur suffer daily on cramped and filthy farms, where disease spreads easily,” says PETA India Senior Advocacy Officer Harshil Maheshwari. “Prohibiting the import and export of wild animals’ skin and fur would signal that India will neither tolerate cruelty to animals nor risk endangering the public.”

PETA entities around the world have released numerous exposés of the exotic-skins industry. Alligators are kept in fetid water inside dank, dark sheds before their necks are hacked open and metal rods are shoved into their heads in an attempt to scramble their brains, often while they’re fully conscious. And snakes are beaten with hammers, cut open from one end to the other with razorblades, and skinned alive. Animals killed for their fur fare no better. They spend their days in squalid wire cages before farmers kill them using the cheapest (which often means cruellest) methods available, including suffocation, electrocution, gassing, and poisoning.

PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview – notes that vegan (animal-free) fashion is the future. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.