Tuesday, December 13, 2011
It turns out that python skin is the newest trend for purses and pumps, but it’s a mortal liability for the wild reptiles that provide it
Ammann adds, "A further issue which arose in the context of this investigation is the fact that many of the importing countries have specific laws when it comes to cruelty issues [no import of items where cruelty was involved in the production process]. As such, there is little doubt that, irrespective of the weak compliance and lack of enforcement by the CITES authorities, there is also another legal aspect which should be taken a lot more seriously. I plan to expand on this cruelty issue and then take this second angle to the respective national authorities, the fashion houses and watch manufacturers, which are clearly party to this infringement of national laws."
When one luxury goods manufacturer professes in its literature to customers "profound respect for nature which translates into efforts to preserve beautiful landscapes, protect biodiversity, ensure consumer health and the harmless production methods...," it conjures the question, what's the definition of "profound respect"? These pictures and some video material reveal what's taking place on the ground in Southeast Asia. Ammann has been approached by a range of animal welfare NGOs with requests to assist with documentary material, but he continues to insist that they provide clear information on what they plan as their campaign and how they would endeavor to measure the results and achievements. This year, for instance, the CITES quota provides for over 150,000 reticulated python skins that can be exported from Indonesia. Countless more are exported illegally. The largest question remains: What's sustainable for any species that's the brunt of such market demand?
The numbers are numbing, but photos and video footage are explicit and undeniable.
You can see more of Karl Ammann's revealing investigative environmental photography at karlammann.com.
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