Push for Exotic-Skins Ban to Head to Hermès’ Boardroom

As a Shareholder, PETA Will Ask the Retailer to Ditch ‘Luxury’ Items Made of Ostriches’ and Reptiles’ Skins

For Immediate Release:
June 5, 2017

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382


Behind every ostrich-, crocodile-, and alligator-skin bag is a short, miserable life of deprivation and a violent death. That’s the message that a PETA representative will take to Hermès’ annual meeting on Tuesday in a call for the company to stop selling exotic-skin bags, watchbands, shoes, and other items.

When:    Tuesday, June 6, 12 noon GMT

Where:    Palais des Congrès, Grand Amphithéâtre, 2, place de la Porte-Maillot, 75017 Paris.

“No sensitive living being should be crammed into a filthy pit and hacked apart while still alive,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on Hermès to take a stand against suffering by ending the use of exotic skins in its collections.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—has released a video exposé of the world’s largest ostrich-slaughter companies, including the exclusive supplier of skins for Hermès’ Birkin bags. The footage reveals that young birds were kept on barren dirt feedlots before they were crowded into trucks and hauled to a slaughterhouse, where they were electrically shocked and their throats were slit. Moments later, while their bodies were still warm, their feathers were torn out, and they were skinned and dismembered.

A PETA exposé of the reptile-skins industry in Texas and Zimbabwe revealed the appalling conditions in which alligators and crocodiles are raised and killed for Hermès’ “luxury” Birkin and Kelly bags and watchbands. Alligators at a farm in Texas that supplied an Hermès-owned tannery were kept in fetid water in dank, dark sheds before their necks were hacked open and metal rods were shoved into their heads in an attempt to scramble their brains, often while they were fully conscious.

PETA will protest outside Hermès’ flagship store in Paris on Tuesday while a spokesperson attends the company’s annual meeting. Photos of past PETA demonstrations outside Hermès stores are available here.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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