As if there weren’t already enough terror attached to the loathsome leather trade, the notoriously cruel Indian leather industry has now been linked to Islamic terrorists groups. According to a recent article in The Times of India, the illegal cattle-smuggling trade, an integral part of the leather supply chain, has been funding terrorism in India. For years now, money made in this thriving racket has reportedly been funneled to various terrorists, including one of the men convicted of killing American journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002.
It’s pretty ironic that a country in which cows are considered sacred is one of the largest leather manufacturers in the world. In fact, Indian law makes it illegal to export cows. To get around this, traffickers force cattle to march hundreds of miles across the country. Marched for days without food or water, cows often collapse from exhaustion or despair, To keep them moving, workers smear the cows’ eyes with chili peppers and tobacco and break the cows’ tails. By the time the cows are crammed into illegal transport trucks and smuggled across the India-Bangladesh border, many are so sick and injured that they have to be dragged into the slaughterhouse—where their throats are slit while they are still alive.
Written by Amy Elizabeth