Retail giants Eddie Bauer, L L Bean, Timberland and Casual Corner have told PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) that they will not purchase leather from India until the government there takes steps to enforce basic animal protection laws. Travel 2000 and German-based Bader are among the latest companies to join a list of international retailers who believe the mistreatment of animals killed for leather in India to be completely unacceptable.

An Eddie Bauer official told PETA: ‘Eddie Bauer is committed to not making products from animal skins and hides sourced from India until we receive credible assurance that India’s animal protection laws are enforced. At Eddie Bauer, we believe animals should be treated humanely under all circumstances.’

Ingrid Newkirk, PETA’s president, said: ‘Indian officials are trying to sleep during this crisis, but we are determined to wake them. With the help of the world’s ethical merchants, the animals’ cries will eventually be heard.’