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Photographs dealing with reptile skin tradeThese photographs depict the trade in reptile skin. You may click any of these thumbnails for higher resolution. Or you may return to our main Gallery.
These photos represent a small part of the many horrific photos Karl has taken seeking to publicize the terrible toll of the reptile skin trade. If there is something else you seek just let us know and we'll try to accomodate your needs.
Here is the story behind the photos.
I was working on research for a documentary on the CITES convention for Swiss TV when I came across the fact that Switzerland is the biggest importer of reptile skins. Mostly for the watch industry, Switzerland also issues more CITES import and export permits then any other country, Switzerland is also the depositary country for the convention with the head offices based in Geneva.
So to expand on the 'Swiss angle' in the CITES context I proposed to take a close look at the reptile skin trade and to what extend it really complied with the stipulations of the convention, The proposal was then picked up by another magazine show platform at Swiss TV and I was asked to arrange a corresponding shoot in Indonesia which I did, While this initial item illustrated some of the animal cruelty issues as well as some indicators as how various actors managed to export skins outside existing CITES quota and other shortcomings in terms of compliance, As with most such investigations it however soon became clear that other aspects - like the issue of the export and import of personal effect items made from reptile skins, the claims by some other SE Asia countries of exporting mostly CAPTIVE BORNE pythons as well as the role of some transit countries, etc - required further research and field work, This was completed in March of 2011 and all the material is now in hand to be worked into a comprehensive documentary which we are editing at present,
A further issue which arose in the context of this investigation is the fact that many of the importing countries have specific laws when it comes to cruelty issues (no import of items where cruelty was involved in the production process) as such there is little doubt that, irrespective of the weak compliance and lack of enforcement by the CITES authorities, there is also an another legal aspect which should be taken a lot more seriously, I plan to expand on this aspects with expert view points on the cruelty issue and then taking this second angle to the respective national authorities and the fashion houses and watch manufacturer which are clearly party to this infringement of national laws,
These pictures and some video material will give an idea as to what is going on the ground in SE Asia, I have been approached by a range of animal welfare NGOs with requests to assist with material (others have decided they rather spend the money and time to try to get their own evidence) provided I got clear information on what they planned as a campaign and how they would in the end measure the results and achievements,
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All photographs © 2016 Karl Ammann
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