DM

Jakarta

At a factory in a small Javanese town, the bloody carcasses of thousands of dead snakes lie piled on the floor. It is here, in Indonesia’s Kapetakan village, snakes are slaughtered to fuel the West’s booming appetite for snake skin handbags and shoes.

These incredible photos show the vast quantity of snakes that go through its doors, with lengths of skins totalling hundreds of metres sold to bag factories in the West and Central Java provinces on a monthly basis.

There are a variety of ways for snakes to be killed and skinned, although one method has been cited by many as exceptionally cruel and outdated. The snake is stunned with a blow to the head from the back of a machete and a hose pipe expertly forced between its jaws.

Next, the water is turned on and the reptile fills up - swelling like a balloon. It will be left like that for ten minutes or so, a leather cord tied around its neck to prevent the liquid escaping. Then its head is impaled on a meat hook, a couple of quick incisions follow, and the now-loosened skin peeled off with a series of brutal tugs - much like a rubber glove from a hand.