PETA and Kanpur Eco Activists to Wade in Ganges in Biohazard Suits to Protest Leather Pollution

For Immediate Release:
19 March 2014

Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]
Grishma Myatra; [email protected]

Toxic Waste From Tanneries Has Made Revered River One of the Most Polluted in the World

Kanpur – Wearing head-to-toe yellow biohazard suits while standing in the Ganges and holding signs that read, “Stop Ganges Pollution – Go Leather-Free!”, members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Eco Friends and Surjana Devi Prasad Pashu Pakshi Sanstha will protest the toxic leather industry in Kanpur on Thursday. Their point? That deadly effluents from leather tanneries – including chromium – have helped make the Ganges one of the most polluted rivers in the world and are responsible for fouling water resources across India and around the world.

When: Thursday, 20 March, 12 noon to 1 pm
Where: Sarsaiya Ghat, near Kanpur Jail, Kanpur

“Not only does leather cause the death of the animals tormented and killed for it, it also pollutes our water and land”, says PETA India’s Grishma Myatra. “We can all make the world a kinder and safer place simply by choosing leather-free shoes, clothing and accessories.”

In Kanpur alone, there are about 400 tanneries on the banks of the Ganges, and much of the dangerous waste, including carcinogenic chromium, gets dumped directly into the river. In two districts of Tamil Nadu, tanneries ruined the farmland of more than 36,000 farmers. Runoff from leather tanneries has also been linked to cancer, respiratory infections and other illnesses in humans.

Leather also takes a deadly toll on animals. PETA undercover investigations have revealed that cows and other animals killed for leather in India are often so severely crowded onto trucks that many are injured or die en route. During slaughter, many animals are fully aware of what is happening to them as their throats are cut.

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