Damaged hides - a positive way forward?

4 September 2006

Dung clad hides have always been a bone of contention and caused endless problems to both tanner and end user, not to mention attempting to sell the limed splits for collagen entering into the food chain. Added to this, dung burn itself downgrades the quality of the hide, reducing the likelihood of it reaching aniline selection. However, with the introduction of The Health and Hygiene Scheme insisting the hide be sheared and/or 'clipped' prior to the livestock being presented for slaughter, a far more potentially damaging phenomenon has arisen. Today, more and more hides are being downgraded due to fairly violent and irresponsible clipper damage that covers large parts of the skin, and not just on the belly edges. To conclude, I feel sure that there must be other leather manufacturers out there besides ourselves who also find this a growing problem that needs addressing but the question is how do we go about tackling this issue... Dung may 'largely' be under control nowadays but what has taken its place frightens me very much indeed... James Boston Waltham Tannery, UK

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