An investigator of Peta Asia recently succeeded in taking video footage of workers in the Chinese province of Jiangsu while slaughtering dogs, a common regional trade practice. The owner of the farm told the investigator that 100 to 200 dogs are killed and skinned at the farm every day to be converted into leather gloves or fur details for clothing and accessories. The meat gets used for the dog meat food production.

It is a well known fact that there are no penalties for animal abuse in China. But a video published by Peta last week shows just what some people are capable of if there are no repercussions for their actions: The dogs are brutally slain, slit open, disemboweled and skinned. The leather is then used mainly for gloves, whereas the fur ends up as decorative pieces on shoes or jackets. Only a few of these products make it to Europe, as dogs and cats are considered pets here rather than livestock. Cats, by the way, undergo a similar treatment in China for their leather and fur. Despite a Europe-wide ban on such imports in 2009, there is no guarantee that the products will not reach Europe eventually. Such goods are usually marked 'gaewolf'; 'gae' being Korean for dog.

Supply and demand

The owner of another factory told the investigators at the time that he had about 30,000 pieces of semi-processed dog leather in stock, which can be seen in the pictures. Ingrid Newkirk, president of Peta, appeals to consumers: "With so many wholesalers who import cheap leather from China, how can you be sure that the leather gloves, purse or a leather trim is not from dog skins? I ask you to think of the frightened, stolen dogs who are beaten and skinned and to remove any leather item from your shopping list."

China is the number one importing country when it comes to fur or leather. The reason is obvious: Because of a lack of animal protection laws, it is legal to keep animals in appalling conditions and to slaughter them, thus saving costs, which convinces dealers to buy them. And supply is always connected to demand: As long as end users buy fashion items with dog leather or fur on it, even if unknowingly, dealers will continue to buy dog leather and fur and leather farms will keep killing dogs.

Translated and edited by Simone Preuss





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