PETA is coming after Hermès, this time over the luxury brand’s alligator suppliers, which the animal rights group says are guilty of animal cruelty.
PETA went undercover to investigate the practices at Lone Star Alligator Farms in Texas and Zimbabwe’s Padenga Holdings (which has a stake in the Lone Star farm) crocodile farm and found unsavory harvesting methods in both locations. The animals are held in shallow waters and overcrowded concrete pits, only to be killed in what looks like an extremely painful process. Their heads are cut open and they are stabbed to dislocate their vertebrae, a method that doesn’t kill the animals at first, leaving them in agony. PETA also found that the animals are shot in the head with bolt guns and will try to escape – even when the damage is done and they are left bleeding in a pile of other alligators. You can see in a video PETA provides that some of the gators are still moving even after being readied for harvesting.
PETA has launched a petition, now over 29,000 signatures strong, urging the luxury industry to stop producing accessories made from alligator and crocodile skin. It takes about two to three crocodiles to make one Hermès handbag and at the Zimbabwe farm, crocodiles are harvested at three years old, drastically cutting their life span which can last up to 80 years.
If you can stomach it, you can watch the videos of PETA’s investigation here.