Chinese Leather Factories Importing Dog and Cat Leather Globally

Flag_of_China_(WFB_2004)Leather is a commodity made and sold all over the globe. In fact, the average consumer is wearing four leather products at any given time, but many consumers are confident their leather comes from humanely treated cattle.

In China, though, things are different.

Recent reports have shown that the Chinese government is coming under fire from animal activists for exporting leather products made from cats and dogs. And since it is hard for customers to trace exactly where their goods come from, the U.S. government is trying to prevent any contraband leather from entering the nation.

In 2000, the U.S. banned the importation of dog and cat fur and skin. If caught, the act is punishable by fines up to $10,000.

However, a report by the Congressional Research Service shows that the U.S. imported $8.5 billion in leather articles from China in 2014. Unfortunately, there is no way to distinguish dog and cat leather from that made from cattle.

The controversy surrounding the transparency of leather was pioneered by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’s Asia branch in 2014. According to their findings, there were factories in China that would slaughter between 100 and 200 dogs per day for their skins.

An investigation was promptly launched, and it helped shine light on the animal industry in China. In a country that does not have any animal welfare laws in place, the investigation was groundbreaking.

As reported in The Guardian, PETA Asia’s vice-president of international operations Jason Baker said, “The dog leather investigation we did, groups that are in the country with us really had no idea. While [the investigations] shock people internationally, they also shock people in China.”

Perhaps this study can be the reason Chinese pet ownership is on the rise. All in all, the veterinary and grooming business in China is predicted to bring in one billion dollars in revenue and is expected to grow rapidly.

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