Inside the Indonesian snakeskin factory that feeds the world’s voracious appetite for luxury fashion
Snakeskin accessories evoke visions of glamour, but these photographs reveal the factories that fashion labels rely upon to make them from are quite the opposite.
The slaughterhouse, which sits in Kerangkulon Village, in Indonesia’s Central Java, is run by a family of four who buy the pythons from farmers for about $3 USD each.
Inside, workers slay, skin and dry the snakes to feed the world’s voracious appetite for luxury fashion products before gutting the bodies to peddle to restaurants.
In some Asian countries, snake meat is believed to ward off skin diseases, asthma and even boost virility.
But the most lucrative trade is the skins, which are sold across nationally and abroad in Singapore to be made into belts, shoes, wallets, and handbags.
However, the snakeskin trade has been condemned by animal rights activists who claim that methods used to kill snakes are cruel and archaic.
The snakes in this factory have their throats slit with a razor before they are skinned alive by pulling the body and head in different directions.
The skins are then fastened to crude bamboo stakes and dried under the sun before being folded and sold to the clothing factories.
The business makes approximately $12,000 USD a month, a modest profit against the booming high-fashion industry it is fueling.