Following the release of a new survey revealing the bloody underside of the production of exotic leathers used by Hermès, two “crocodiles” demonstrated in front of one of the brand's Parisian stores.
Wearing crocodile masks and green underwear, the activists held up luxury bag-shaped signs with the messages "Hermès, stop torture" and " Hermès, accessory of murder" , and reminding buyers that crocodiles are suffering. for accessories.
The action is part of a series of protests targeting the brand around the world, from Paris to New York to Copenhagen and Brisbane, for its use of exotic skins and its plan to build a gigantic crocodile farm-factory. in Australia, which would imprison up to 50,000 sea crocodiles at a time.
Cruelty to Crocodiles is Nothing Luxurious
There is nothing elegant about cramming sentient animals into pits, dismembering them, and leaving them to die. Yet fashion companies like Hermès continue to expand their crocodile breeding business in Australia.
The new footage, shot at a farm in the Northern Territory that supplies hides to Hermès, shows how crocodiles are electrocuted and pulled out of their pens as their bodies go into convulsions. Workers then shot them at the top of their heads with a captive armor-piercing pistol and severed their spine with a knife. A screwdriver is then driven into the wound, in an attempt to jam the crocodile's brain.
Investigations released by PETA had previously revealed that no matter where the skins come from - or the “standards” touted by brands - intelligent and sentient beings are imprisoned in squalid conditions and suffer a violent and terrifying killing. From the moment they hatch, crocodiles in farms are deprived of all that is natural and important to them, they are confined in small concrete enclosures and cannot swim freely.
Images shot at other farms supplying Hermes show alligators and crocodiles confined to foul water basins and overcrowded concrete pits and workers slicing reptiles' spines and tearing off their skin as they are still alive. This method of killing has been proven to be inhumane, and experts have shown that crocodilians remain conscious for over an hour after having their spinal cord severed. It takes the skin of three crocodiles to make a single Hermès handbag.
Exotic skin and zoonotic diseases
Because crocodiles raised for their skin are kept crowded together in unsanitary conditions, conservation experts warn the next pandemic could come from the fashion industry.
Like a “wet market”, where COVID-19 probably originates, crocodile farms provide fertile ground for the proliferation of many zoonotic pathogens, such as salmonella, vibrio, Aeromonas spp. , Pseudomonas spp. , E. coli , trichina and West Nile virus, which crocodilians have been found to carry and can transmit to humans.
The good news is that exotic skins are losing favor with designers and consumers alike. Already luxury brands like Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Chanel, HUGO BOSS, Victoria Beckham and others have ditched the crocodile and other skins.
Now is the time to invest in human, sustainable and forward-looking projects, and not to build new factory farms to torment animals and create a breeding ground for new pandemics. It is important to support PETA in order to urge Hermès to get rid of exotic skin now.