German sportswear giant Adidas-Salomon announced on Monday it will boycott leather imports from China and India in protest at the treatment and welfare of animals.

In a move welcomed by animal rights groups, the company says it will not use any leather from either country until the laws on the transport and slaughter of animals are respected.

Its decision follows similar leather boycotts by other leading fashion brands such as Esprit, Gucci and Reebok.

Animal rights groups such as PETA claim animals in India are often cut up while they still alive, while dogs and cats in China are allegedly killed and their skins sold in the West as skins from other animals.