American Express will no longer offer crocodile skin items in its online Membership Rewards store.
When customers spend on their American Express card, they receive points on their account. These points can be spent on a number of different things, including the multinational’s own online shop, which includes everything from designer bags to coffee machines.
But following pressure from PETA US, customers can no longer buy anything made with crocodile skins.
According to the animal rights organization, more than 300,000 of its members sent messages to American Express, urging the company to stop supporting the exotic animal skin trade. Now, it has obliged.
The crocodile skin industry
The crocodile skin industry has come under fire for cruelty. In 2016, PETA released findings from an investigation in Vietnam, which found animals living in cramped, concrete enclosures.
PETA says workers gave crocodiles electric shocks, before cutting their necks and inserting rods into their throats. The organization also claimed to find evidence that some crocodiles may have been skinned alive.
Tracy Reiman, PETA’s executive vice president, praised American Express for no longer engaging with the industry.
She said: “American Express is collecting major points for ditching an industry that hacks apart and skins crocodiles alive, as our investigations have shown.”
“PETA US is celebrating this compassionate move and reminding everyone that for every bag, belt, or pair of boots made out of the skin of a crocodile, an intelligent and sensitive animal endured a horrific death.”
Luxury brands Burberry, Chanel, and Altuzarra have also ditched exotic animal skins in recent years.
Hermès continues to use crocodile skin, which has inspired several animal rights organizations to focus their attention on the fashion house. You can lend your support to PETA’s campaign here.