Designer snake skin handbags can sell for hundreds or even thousands of pounds, but as these sickening photos taken at a snake slaughterhouse in Indonesia show, their manufacture is far from glamorous.

Snakes are killed by the thousands and then skinned in ways that have been condemned as exceptionally cruel and outdated.

According to a Daily Mail report, snakes that have been stunned by a blow to the head are then filled with water from a hosepipe so that they inflate like a balloon. After ten minutes or so, the skin becomes loose enough to peel off the still-alive reptile, like removing a rubber glove.

The skins are then curled up and dried in an oven before being dyed and sent to a bag-making factory. The factory receives about £10 to £20 per bag, but their prices increase dramatically when they reach Western fashion houses.

dead snakes
Dead snakes are taken to be skinnedGetty
removing skins
A worker skins the dead snakesGetty
snake meat
The skinned snakes are used for their meat. Snake meat is believed by some to be a remedy for skin diseases and asthma, as well as an aid to increase virilityReuters
Snakes are rolled up, ready for the ovenGetty
Snakes are dried inside an oven at a slaughterhouseReuters
Workers bind snake skins to pieces of wood to dry themGetty
Various types of snake skins are laid out in the sun to dryGetty
finished skins
Finished snakes skins are packed and ready to be taken to the factoryGetty
making bag
A worker sews a snake skin bag at a factory in the Comal district of Pekalongan, in Indonesia's Central Java provinceReuters