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From Texas to Zimbabwe, PETA US' investigators documented the appalling conditions in which animals are raised and/or killed for "luxury" Birkin bags, belts and watchbands.
Alligators are packed in dank pools and crocodiles are crowded in barren concrete pits for months or even years before finally being slaughtered for their skins. PETA US' investigators documented that workers crudely hacked into the necks of some alligators and tried to scramble their brains with metal rods – all in the name of "luxury". Some animals were still conscious, flailing and kicking, even minutes after workers tried to kill them.
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In Winnie, Texas, there's an alligator factory that sends skins to an Hermès-owned tannery, and there, PETA US' investigator found alligators kept in fetid water and dank, dark sheds without sunshine, fresh air, clean water or even basic medical care. At just 1 year old, alligators are shot with a captive-bolt gun or crudely cut into while they're still conscious and able to feel pain. PETA US' investigator documented the following actions by workers there:
- Repeatedly shooting alligators in the head with a captive-bolt gun
- Cutting into more than 500 conscious alligators as they struggled to escape
- Stabbing conscious alligators to try to dislocate their vertebrae – even though a manager had admitted that "reptiles will continue to live" after that
The investigator saw alligators continuing to move their legs and tails in the bleed rack and in bloody ice bins several minutes after their attempted slaughter.
After the alligators' miserable life and sometimes slow, gruesome death, their skins are sent to France and made into "luxury" items such as watchbands.
At the facility of one of the world's largest exporters of Nile crocodile skins in Zimbabwe, tens of thousands of crocodiles are confined to concrete pits from birth to slaughter. They are deprived of the opportunity to engage in natural behaviour, including digging tunnels, protecting their young or using tools to hunt as they would do in nature.
In the wild, Nile crocodiles can live to be up to 80 years old, but at this facility, they are slaughtered at around the age of 3.
Many belly skins are sent to an Hermès-owned tannery, where they end up becoming "luxury" items such as "Birkin" and "Kelly" handbags that can cost approximately Rs. 3,110,772 or more. It takes two or three crocodiles to make just one handbag.
In light of this damning evidence of abuse to animals used for "luxury" products, please use the form below to demand that Hermès stop selling items made from crocodile and alligator skins. And remember: the best way to prevent animals from suffering for their skins is to ensure that your wardrobe is cruelty-free.
You Can Help
Please add your voice to PETA's by urging Hermès to drop exotic skins. Your support is vital as we work to end this industry's cruel treatment of animals.
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