India’s Central Board Of Secondary Education (CBSC) To Schools: Switch From Leather Shoes To Canvas

For Immediate Release:
25 February 2014

Puja Mahajan; [email protected]
Mansi Rawal; [email protected]

PETA, PFA And MP Maneka Gandhi Plea Prompts ‘Ethical’ And ‘Compassionate’ Advisory 18,000 Schools Across India

PETA, PFA and MP Maneka Gandhi Plea Prompts ‘Ethical’ and ‘Compassionate’ Advisory to 18,000 Schools Across India Mumbai – After meeting with representatives of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and learning of PETA India’s, People For Animals’ and MP Maneka Gandhi’s communication with the Ministry of Human Resources Development, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) sent an advisory to all its 18,000 affiliated schools across India strongly urging them to implement a policy that bans students and staff members from wearing leather shoes in favour of animal- and Earth-friendly canvas shoes. In the advisory, the CBSE refers to the policy as an “ethical” and “compassionate” way to protect the environment and animals from harm.

Buying leather directly contributes to factory farms and slaughterhouses because skin is the most economically important byproduct of the meat industry. Leather is also no friend of the environment, as it shares responsibility for all the environmental destruction caused by the meat industry as well as the pollution caused by the toxins used in tanning.

The CBSE’s action is a major leap forward in the campaign to get leather shoes banned from school uniforms. Already, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab have moved to ban leather shoes in schools, and the government of Goa has informed PETA that most of its schools already use canvas shoes. The Animal Welfare Board of India, a statutory body operating under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, has also asked all states to shift to environmentally friendly options for school uniforms.

“The Central Board of Secondary Education ‘s strong stance is a victory for all animals used for leather, who face a painful and terrifying death in slaughterhouses”, says PETA India’s senior education coordinator, Puja Mahajan. “It will also hasten the day when tanneries stop dumping waste into the Ganges and exposing nearby residents to deadly toxins.”

At slaughterhouses, many animals are skinned and dismembered while they are still conscious. What’s more, turning the skins of cows, buffalo, sheep and goats into leather requires massive amounts of toxic chemicals, and runoff from leather tanneries poisons local rivers and streams. The CBSE’s advisory to the schools is attached.

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