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The animals who are killed so their skin can be used to make ‘luxury’ goods suffer horribly during their short lives and painful deaths.
This is the message animal rights charity PETA will take to Prada today, when a US representative for the group will attend the designer’s annual meeting in Milan.
PETA Director of International Programmes Mimi Bekhechi, says: “No sensitive living being should be crammed into a filthy pit and hacked apart while still alive. PETA is calling on Prada to take a stand against suffering by ending the use of exotic skins in its collections.”
In September 2015, PETA investigators traveled to South Africa to get never-before-seen footage inside the largest ostrich slaughter companies in the world, including the exclusive supplier of ostrich skins for Hermès Birkin bags.
Investigators saw workers force the birds into stun boxes—causing many to slip and fall—and then slit their throats. The ostriches next in line saw their flockmates killed right in front of them.
Workers were caught on camera striking ostriches in the face during transport, and when ostriches stumbled over a collapsed flockmate outside a slaughterhouse, a plant director joked: “I’ll call the animal welfare officer just now.”
According to PETA, which has released a video exposé of the world’s largest ostrich-slaughter companies, these slaughterhouses supply ostrich skins to Hermès, Prada, Louis Vuitton, and other top European fashion houses.
Feathers, some of which are ripped out of the ostriches’ skin while they are fully conscious, are used in costumes for the Moulin Rouge and festivals like Brazil’s Rio Carnival as well as in feather dusters, boas, and accessories.
Ostrich meat is also sold throughout South Africa and exported primarily to Europe.