It is a matter of ignorance or, more precisely, it depends on lack of awareness. Branding cattle by using fire-heated marks, in Brazil’s breeding farms, does not only imply a welfare issue for livestock of course, but also causes a (considerable) damage to the leather national industry. “We are talking about management mistakes that are due to cause remarkable loss, up to one billion dollars”, severely pointed out Fernanda Macitelli, Professor at the Universidad Federal do Mato Grosso, while speaking to Canal Rural. Ironically, as we said earlier, Brazilian farmers are not even aware of the economic aspect of the issue. “We should provide them with more information – she continued –: they do not know that raw hides and skins may even account for 10 to 15% of the livestock unit”.
Formerly in autumn 2017, CICB, the association of Brazilian tanners, had spotlighted the problem similarly. Fire branding, alongside some more mistakes in the breeding stage, used to cause a 3.5-billion-real loss. Yet, on the one hand, in Brazil’s breeding farms they hardly realize there are other tools as an alternative to traditional branding; on the other hand, such economic loss may also affect international competitiveness. In fact, as remarked by Macitelli, a few competitors (especially India) make public some videos about fazendas in order to discredit Brazilian leather industry. On top of that, several brands emphasize animal welfare issues and therefore refuse to buy Brazilian leather.
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