If you needed another reason to shop cruelty free this holiday season, here it is! PETA just released information along with footage and pictures of the horrific dog leather trade in China. The evidence shows dogs being brutally beaten to death and, in some cases, skinned while still alive. And worst, this dog leather is already being sold in shop across the UK with and is on its way to the U.S. and Australia.

This dog leather trade piggy-backs off China’s dog-meat industry. The slaughterhouses, which kill between 100-200 dogs a day each, sell the meat to different restaurants in China and use the skin for products such as leather gloves. You won’t know that you are buying dog leather at the store, though. Dog leather is sold to western companies under the guise it is “lamb” leather. And, without DNA testing there is no way to tell between the different types of leather. Skin all looks the same once it has been through the tanning process, so it’s impossible to tell if those leather gloves or wallets are made out of dog, cow, pig, or goat skin.

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Every animal that is used for leather, unfortunately, goes through a similar situation as the dogs in China. Though many leather companies try to convince us they are interested in animal welfare standards, leather primarily comes from farm animals, so that’s basically the equivalent of chicken, pork, and beef producers telling us that they’re genuinely concerned about the animal’s quality of life. A terrible, violent death is followed by skinning of the animal. PETA is calling on shoppers in the United Kingdom and U.S. alike, to “consider the terror that dogs and other animals endure when they’re mercilessly slaughtered and make the safe, vegan choice in clothing and accessories for the holidays and every day.”

Officials of the China Leather Industry Association refused to be interviewed and claimed that they had no knowledge  of dog skin being used in exported leather products. China’s Ministry of Agriculture did not respond to requests for interviews either.

China just released news that its laws on animal welfare were changing for the better. Unfortunately, this law does not take into account domestic animals or animals raised for food. China has been consistently criticized for its use of animals and the poor treatment they often experience. For example, China is notorious for its product of bear bile that is used in traditional medicines. China also has some of the highest amount of illegal wildlife trade, including ivory and tiger pelts.

To see more on this investigation, including video footage of the horrific treatment of these dogs, visit PETA’s page here. You can also sign a pledge to never wear leather, as all leather production is a result of cruel and horrific treatment of these animals.

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Workers of the slaughterhouse beat the dog’s to death as the enter the slaughtering area.

The meat is sold to restaurants in China.

 Dog leather is sold to western markets as lamb skin.

100-200 dogs are slaughtered at each slaughterhouse each day.

It is impossible to tell the difference between types of leather without running a DNA test on it. So choose to go leather free.

Image source: peta.org