Bihar Education Department Urges Schools to Go Leather-Free

For Immediate Release:
10 July 2015

Puja Mahajan; [email protected]
Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]

Officials Take Steps to Protect Animals and the Environment After Hearing From PETA

Patna, Bihar – Following an advisory by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – which encourages CBSE-affiliated schools across India to use canvas shoes for school uniforms instead of leather – and communication with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, the Education Department of Bihar is now encouraging schools in the state to use canvas shoes instead of leather ones for their uniforms. Delhi, Chandigarh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab have also taken steps to encourage the use of non-leather footwear in schools. The Education Department of Bihar’s advisory will be announced after time has been allowed for its implementation.

“This forward-thinking, compassionate effort to keep leather out of Bihar schools teaches children the importance of protecting animals and the environment”, says PETA India’s senior education coordinator, Puja Mahajan. “PETA looks forward to seeing states across India follow Bihar’s example and make the kind decision to spare animals a lifetime of suffering and protect our rivers.”

The Animal Welfare Board of India has also asked all states and union territories to shift to non-animal, environmentally friendly options for school uniforms. As PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – has documented, cows and other animals used for their skin often sustain broken bones or suffocate on their way to slaughter, and those who survive the trip are then often hacked at with dull knives in full view of their companions. Turning the skins of cows, buffalo, sheep and goats into leather also requires massive amounts of toxic chemicals, and runoff from leather tanneries poisons local rivers and streams. The hundreds of leather tanneries in Kanpur are some of the largest sources of pollution of the Ganges, emitting serious pollutants that are harmful to both human and animal health.

The advisory from the Education Department of Bihar is available here. For more information, please visit