COLD BLOOD COLOMBIA

  • Photographer
    Paolo Marchetti
  • Prize
    Honorable Mention
  • Date of Photograph
    2014

I tell you the sacrifice hidden in the intensive breeding farms all around the world and behind the ruthless values of the high fashion, and its trend dominated by remorseless standards of beauty.

Story

We all know how work intensive farming, which uses industrial and scientific techniques to get the maximum amount of product at the lowest cost. At the same time we know much less how work the intesive farming regarding the huge business of animal skins destined to the worldwide high fashion market. I tell you the sacrifice hidden behind the ruthless values expressed by the high fashion, and its cultural trend dominated by remorseless standards of beauty. The business volume that revolving around this trade amounts to several millions of euro per year. Many brands of high fashion adhering to initiatives that protect the animals rights, but in fact, what has never changed is the awareness that concerns the great compromise, that this industry expressing. In this broad scenario, there is a long list of animal involved, whose existence is destined for the industrial sector of the high fashion and all of these species are condemned to intensive farming for the production of clothes with furs, feathers or leather. In South America, the commercial hunting of caimans began in the late 1950s, beginning with the Black Caiman, whose skin is regarded as the most valuable among the caimans. However, this extensive and worldwide exploitation, during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, resulted in the populations of most species being greatly reduced, and in some cases being extirpated from their habitat. With declining wild populations in the 1960s and 1970s, the concept of crocodile farming began to take monument. It was also at this time that many countries enacted legislation to protect crocodilians, was therefore created the CITES (The Convention on international Trade in Endangered Species) enacted in 1975 with the pur pose to ensure a regulated international trade, without any threat to the survival of endangered species. The current international trade involves several milion crocodilian skins per year, exported legally from about 30 countries. In terms of volume, the main producer countries are in Southeast Asia, Africa, Australia, USA and many countries in South America such as Colombia. The UN estimates that between 1-1 milion and 1.8 milion crocodilian skins were traded each year between 1999 and 2008. For what concerns the Colombian market, for instance, more than 46.000 illegally captured animals were captured in 2012. ANimal traffickers share routes with drug traffickers, accordino to a 2009 report by Reuters. The market for crocodile skins bet is a rather recent in related economic colombian. In Colombia, this business has exponentially grown up over the past 10 years and one of few markets in SOuth America to be exported, in particulat, the thousands of skins produced annually, are destined for Asian and European markets. All over the world, a crocodile bag, for example, can be sold by the well-known brands of high fashion for many thousands of Euro, but the sacrifice that is consumed behind these products is something that often is not aware of consumers. This is what happens behind the magnificence and luxury expressed by the high fashion.

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