Reading Time: 2 minutes A cow being hoisted off a docked ship by one leg with a crane (Photo: PETA/Manfred Karremann)
Reading Time: 2 minutes

A new investigation highlights the ‘deeply disturbing’ treatment of cows killed for leather.

The Manfred Karremann investigation, which was first released by vegan charity PETA Germany, reveals what the organization describes as the ‘filthy, crowded’ conditions in which the animals are kept, transported, and killed.

Cows killed for leather

According to Karremann, animals were transported for weeks, traveling from Europe and South America overseas and by lorry to abattoirs in Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey, and elsewhere – with some of their skins ultimately ending up on store shelves in Europe and the US.

PETA says the footage shows ‘weak or injured animals being hoisted off a docked ship by one leg with a crane (a process that can break their legs and dislocate their joints) and then dropped onto an abattoir-bound truck’.

It adds that when animals finally reach the slaughterhouse, they are seen being ‘pinned to the ground or tied up’ with their throats being cut. Workers were documented kicking a moving sheep onto a pile of corpses, where the animal bled to death.

‘Deeply disturbing’

“As the world reels from a deadly virus that originated in humans’ cruel treatment and butchery of animals, this deeply disturbing video footage should set off alarm bells,” PETA managing director, Ingrid Newkirk, said.

“Animals killed for leather endure enormous pain and suffering, and its production poses a risk to human health. PETA is urging shoppers to avoid it like the plague.”

Sustainable vegan leather

The charity adds that more than 1.4 billion cows, goats, and sheep – and millions of other animals – are killed for leather every year, saying that ‘inadequate labeling requirements make it nearly impossible for consumers to determine where leather really came from’.

“Sustainable vegan leather made from apples, cork, mushrooms, pineapple leaves, mangoes, and other materials mimics the properties of animal-derived leather without the cruelty, risk of transmissible disease, or environmental destruction,” says PETA.

Maria Chiorando

Maria is a news and features writer for Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. She was previously the editor of Plant Based News for over 3 years.