Why are crocodiles skinned alive

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This content was published on March 02, 2021 - 12:40 p.m. (Keystone-SDA)

According to the animal welfare organization Peta, snakes on reptile farms in Vietnam are inflated with air from the inside and then partially skinned alive. The cruel technique that Peta has documented in videos and photos is used to gain as much snakeskin as possible for the leather industry.

"Peta has found out that a farm in Vietnam that supplies snakeskin for the global leather industry exposes snakes to terrible cruelty," said a letter from Peta spokeswoman Nirali Shah to the German press agency on Tuesday.

The animals' mouth and anus would be sealed with tape. They would then be "inflated" with an air compressor. "This causes extreme pain, the heart is crushed, and the circulatory and nervous systems are under terrible stress," said Shah. A similar procedure is also used with crocodiles.

A video shows a worker standing on the inflated body of a python. Another shot shows that the snake's tail is still moving. The animals' vital functions were not checked before skinning and eviscerating, it said. According to Peta, the reptiles are kept in small cages and not taken care of by a veterinarian.

A single reptile farm could kill up to 2000 pythons per year. Their skin goes to the international market in order to make handbags, boots or belts from it. There are nearly 500 registered python farms in Vietnam, according to a 2016 International Trade Center (ITC) report. Even then it was said that blowing snakes was a common practice in the country on the Mekong.

Vietnam has been criticized for years for its cruel treatment of snakes and crocodiles. Animals Asia reported in 2014 about the "Snake Village" in Hanoi, a tourist attraction for people from all over the world. There, vacationers can not only try snake meat, but also drink snake blood and eat snake hearts that are still beating. Animals Asia warned that such restaurants would also capture wild animals, threatening the survival of endangered species of snakes.