GENEVA - Europe's love of snakeskin fashion items could threaten the very survival of pythons, according to a report published Tuesday.
Nearly a half million python skins are exported each year - almost exclusively for use in European fashion - in a massive market with a legal value of more than US$1.0 billion (771 million euros), according to the study "Trade in South-East Asian Python Skins."
Many of the skins end up as designer handbags, belts, wallets and other accessories. Italy, Germany and France are the biggest importers, while most of the skins come from Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.
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