After the Kindness Project, an Australian animal rights organization, released video footage of crocodiles confined to barren concrete pens on Hermès-owned farms in Australia being electrocuted, knifed, shot, and mutilated with screwdrivers, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has sent a letter to the firm’s chief executive, Axel Dumas, exposing the company's clearly false claims that it holds "the highest scientific standards for animal welfare" and holding provocative exhibitions at the brand's Paris, London, and New York flagship stores, the last of which featured women holding mock croc handbags dripping with “blood.”
PETA’s Executive Vice President, Tracy Reiman, said that no purse is worth an animal's torturous death. PETA is urging Hermès to pay attention to the outcry over crocodile abuse and to stop selling exotic skins.
According to PETA, Hermès is planning to build Australia's largest crocodile farm, with the capacity to hold and kill up to 50,000 animals. Previous PETA investigations, which revealed that workers shot reptiles in the head, cut into them they struggle to escape and stabbed still-conscious animals to dislocate their vertebrae. They also show, after these slaughter attempts, reptiles continued to move their legs and tails for several minutes.
Australia is responsible for 60% of the global crocodile skin trade. Hermès slaughters crocodiles when they are only 2-3 years old, despite the fact that they have a normal lifetime of 70 years. Hermès stores sell Birkin bags fashioned from the skins of four crocodiles for tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars.
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