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UPDATE: Industry Reponds To PETA Leather Protest

Brian Kelly Twitter:@brpkelly
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PETA Shoebox

ST. LOUIS (KMOX)-They were nearly naked. splattered in fake blood and lying in a shoebox outside the Hermann Oak Leather Company in north St. Louis’ industrial area.

They were PETA members urging consumers not to buy shoes and other products made of leather or other animal hides.

PETA Campaigner Katie Arth says consumers should think about where the leather used in their  shoes, belts and other items come from, “Animals like cows feel fear and pain just like we do and are fighting, kicking and screaming in slaughterhouses as they are often dismembered and skinned alive just to produce bags or belts.

“Just because we’ve been skinning animals alive for years doesn’t mean it’s okay. The things that happen to cows and other animals killed for their skins in slaughterhouses would often be felonies if done to dogs and cats.”

Arth says with a wide variety of cruelty-free synthetic fabrics there’s no need to buy items made from animals.

Herman Oak Leather President Shep Hermann says the company respects the protestors right to assemble. A spokesman for the Leather Industries of America was not available to comment.

U.S. Hide, Skin and Leather Association President John Reddington issued the following statement:

“In America, we raise livestock primarily for food.  Out of respect for the animals and their sacrifice, we try to use all parts that we can.  Leather is a byproduct that serves a very important purpose for clothing, shoes and other purposes.   We harvest leather from animals in meat plants, where inspectors ensure that livestock are treated humanely.  A key part of federal rules is a requirement to ensure that animals cannot feel pain before they are processed.  PETA’s claims are outrageous and without basis in fact.  Their attack on leather is simply part of their larger animal rights agenda to end the use of animals for any purpose, whether it be food, clothing or research.  Their views stand in sharp contrast to those held by the vast majority of our society.”
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