PETA India Members in Biohazard Suits to Protest Leather Industry’s Pollution of Ganges

For Immediate Release: 

28 November 2019 


Radhika Suryavanshi; [email protected] 

Hiraj Laljani ; [email protected]

Group Will Mark National Pollution Prevention Day by Calling On the Public to Go Leather-Free  

Varanasi – Wearing full-body biohazard suits and holding signs reading, “Stop Ganges Pollution: Go Leather-Free,” three members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India will protest toxic leather-industry pollution in Varanasi on Friday, ahead of National Pollution Prevention Day (2 December). The deadly effluents from leather tanneries are heavily responsible for fouling the Ganges and other waterways across India and around the world. 

When: Friday, 29 November, 12 noon sharp 

Where: Outside State Bank of India main branch, Kachehari Road (opposite The Benares Club), Varanasi 221 002 

“Not only does leather cause the deaths of the animals tormented for it, it also pollutes the holy river, other waterways, and land,” says PETA India Campaigner Radhika Suryavanshi. “We can all make the world a kinder and cleaner place simply by choosing leather-free shoes, clothing, and accessories.” 

Upriver in the city of Kanpur, there are about 400 tanneries on the banks of the Ganges, and much of the dangerous waste that they produce – including carcinogenic chromium – is dumped directly into the river. In two districts of Tamil Nadu, tanneries ruined the farmland of more than 36,000 farmers. Run-off from leather tanneries has also been linked to cancer, respiratory infections, and other illnesses in humans. In addition, leather production takes a deadly toll on animals. As documented by PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – cows and other animals killed for leather in India are often loaded onto trucks that are so severely crowded that many are injured or die en route to the slaughterhouse. During slaughter, many animals are still conscious as their throats are cut. 

PETA India opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit