On the heels of a PETA exposé revealing that alligators and crocodiles on farms that supply Hermès-owned tanneries are sawed open while they’re still alive, PETA became a shareholder of Hermès International on the Paris stock exchange to put pressure on the company to end its sale of exotic-animal skins, which are made into watch straps and bags.
“PETA’s investigation revealed that the grisly source of Hermès’ accessories are living, feeling animals, some of whom were painfully mutilated and left to die,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA will be campaigning outside the company, and, as a shareholder, also working from the inside to demand a ban on exotic animal–skin accessories, including crocodile-skin bags and alligator-skin watchbands.”
PETA obtained video footage from two farms that supply Hermès-owned tanneries—including Padenga Holdings Ltd. in Zimbabwe, a company that operates one of the largest Nile crocodile–farming operations in the world, and Lone Star Alligator Farms in Winnie, Texas. PETA’s exposé revealed that workers at Lone Star rammed metal rods up alligators’ spinal columns after slitting the back of the conscious, struggling animals’ necks with a knife. Some animals survived and were seen moving in ice-water bins minutes afterward. The video also shows thousands of crocodiles crammed into concrete pits at a factory farm in Kariba, Zimbabwe.