M&S join leather boycott

19 August 2001

According to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), retail chain Marks & Spencer have announced that they will no longer purchase leather from India until animal welfare is improved. Marks & Spencer have joined other companies such as Gap, J Crew, Clarks and Florsheim who have cancelled contracts for Indian leathergoods. Nordstrom and Wolverine, makers of Hush Puppies, plus the Caterpillar brand and Harley Davidson footwear are all joining the boycott. PETA reports that animals are still being transported illegally in suffocating conditions and believes that the Indian government only has itself to blame for not taking necessary action to improve conditions. In May last year, PETA agreed to suspend its campaign against Indian leather for a year to give the Council for Leather Exports the chance to persuade the government to enforce the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. However, in April this year, PETA warned Indian officials that they would be forced to relaunch their campaign if improvements were not made. Since then, PETA has been in talks with 37 American, Australian and European animal protection organisations angry about India's inaction. PETA president Ingrid Newkirk said: 'We honoured the minister of commerce's request to end antagonism. However, for one solid year, all the government did was sleep. Now a serious wake-up call is in order.'

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