1) It is used most commonly to describe the action of skinning an animal.
1659 if any butcher gash or cut any hide of ox, bull, steer or cow in fleaing, forfeit 6/8, Beverley
1674 fouer peeces of mutton and some shred suet all newly killed and some of the wooll left upon the meat not well fleyed, Bolton by Bowland
1740 a sheep which was flea’d and the skin taken away, Idle. It also meant to pare or remove the top sods in peat-getting: 1608 we do payne Isack Croslay for flieing of flaghts, Langfield
1635 no person shall flee ground for turves and leave itt ungraven, Slaithwaite.