In a letter responding to the article ‘Think on your feet’, published in the September/October issue of Resurgence & Ecologist magazine, Leather UK provided a detailed rebuttal to a number of erroneous statements by the author.
Countering claims that leather is forcibly created through the slaughter of billions of cows, Leather UK director Kerry Senior wrote that the dramatic figure bore no resemblance to fact. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, he said, the global cattle population is around 1.6 billion animals, of which approximately 300 million are slaughtered each year.
Resurgence & Ecologist magazine also claimed the value of the hide to be as much as 10% of an animal – where in fact it is currently closer to 1% or even less, with many hides still being discarded as having no value at all.
Mr Senior concluded that while it is correct that journalists should investigate issues and expose shortcomings in the production of goods such as leather footwear, there should be a minimum threshold for any report with regards its accuracy and balance. This report fell short of that threshold, he said, and preferred to opt for drama and hyperbole over facts.
He asked the magazine to publish Leather UK’s rebuttal so that readers could “come to their own conclusions but in the light of all the facts”.
The full letter can be read here.