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Animal rights campaigners celebrate as international designers are banned from selling reptile skin in India

Lisa Bowman

International fashion houses banned from selling reptile skin in India
Hermès Birkin bags like this made from crocodile skin will no longer be allowed to be imported into India, thanks to a new trade policy (Picture: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Good news for animal rights campaigners (and animals), as India has banned the import of reptile skin, and some furs.
After much campaigning from PETA India, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade has amended the trade policy so that it no longer allows the import of any reptile skin.
The ban also extends to the fur of mink, and chinchillas or foxes ‘whole, with or without head, tails or paws’.
Other furs are allowed.
The ban comes after much pressure from animals rights group PETA who have been campaigning for years on the matter.
Undercover footage of crocs being killed at a reptile farm in Vietnam
Undercover footage of crocs being killed at a reptile farm in Vietnam (Picture: YouTube/PETA)
Last month PETA released shocking behind-the-scenes footage from reptile farms in Vietnam – two of which say they supply to Louis Vuitton’s parent company LVMH, according to PETA.
It showed reptiles being trapped in tiny cages, before being slaughtered in the most brutal ways.
Some were pinned down while having rods forced through their heads.
PETA India initially approached the Indian government back in 2014 about banning the importation of all exotic skins and fur products.
In 2015, they met with Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, asking her to implement such a law.
The government eventually agreed with a partial ban, which was announced this week.
This means that companies like Hermès will no longer be able to sell their crocodile or lizard skin versions of the Birkin bag in India.
The notice with the amended laws can be viewed here.
A woman wearing a fur stole at fashion week
The new import ban in India also covers some furs (Picture: Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images)
The import of animal skins and furs into the UK depends on a number of things, such as the country of origin and how it was killed.
This is to prevent trade from countries where animals are endangered, or can be caught illegally in cruel contraptions like leg-hold traps.
UK laws can be viewed here.
Although when designers like Stella McCartney are able to make such great imitation products, is there really any need to wear real animal skin?
Or should we be keeping animals like lizards as pets, not purses?

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