PETA urges Louis Vuitton parent company to stop using crocodile
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is calling on Louis Vuitton's parent company to cease using crocodile skin.
The animal rights group has released footage reportedly taken inside several crocodile farms in Vietnam during March and April last year (16), depicting the "horrifying" way in which the animals' skins are harvested.
PETA alleges that two of the farms investigated regularly supply crocodile skins to Louis Vuitton's parent company, the luxury fashion conglomerate Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH).
"Workers electroshocked crocodiles then attempted to kill them by cutting their neck and ramming metal rods down their spines," said PETA. "This killing method has long been shown to be inhumane, and experts have found that crocodilians remain conscious for over an hour after their spinal cord has been severed."
According to the activist group and one of the farm owners, the crocodile skins were sold to Heng Long, a Singapore-based supplier of animal skins that is owned by LVMH and is used by "some of the biggest brands".
But in a statement to Forbes, LVMH's director of environment Sylvie Bernard said that Heng Long has not bought crocodile skins from any farms in Vietnam since 2014.
However, Bernard declined to comment on whether the company ceased buying skins from the Southeast Asian nation, citing the "confidential relationship" they have with its partners.
"We have no knowledge of a partner that would practice the method you referred to," she said. "Any cruel method involving the suffering of the animal is in clear contradiction with our principles and rules."
PETA has filed a legal complaint with Vietnamese Department of Agriculture alleging the treatment of the crocodiles on the farms violates the country's Law on Animal Health.
The allegations of poor treatment of crocodiles comes a year after PETA released a video showing abuses on crocodile farms that reportedly supplied exotics skins for Hermes. In response to the video, actress Jane Birkin demanded that Hermes remove her name from its Birkin crocodile bag.
However, the French leather-goods firm has since resolved the issue and identified an "isolated irregularity" in the slaughter process at a crocodile farm in Texas. It also warned suppliers that any "breach of rules will be rectified and sanctioned."