A newly released PETA Asia investigation has uncovered brutal slaughter methods and animal welfare violations within the snake and lizard leather trade.
The animal rights group investigated slaughterhouses supplying leather to Gucci and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, aka LVMH. The latter has a lengthy list of subsidiaries, including Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Christian Dior, and Marc Jacobs.
Investigators discovered that workers at LVMH-supplying facilities forced hoses down the throats of pythons to inflate them with water. This allegedly makes it easier to skin them, PETA reports.
Workers hit the snakes repeatedly on the head with a hammer, sliced them open with razor blades, and disembowelled them while they were “likely still conscious,” the charity says.
At a Gucci-supplying slaughterhouse, workers reportedly held conscious lizards underwater while they flailed, before beheading them. Some lizards were struck up to 14 times with a machete before they were fully decapitated.
According to PETA, lizards can still remain conscious and capable of feeling pain for more than 30 minutes after decapitation.
Ban exotic animal skins
In response to the findings, PETA is urging LVMH and Kering – which owns Gucci – to ban exotic animal skins altogether.
The animal rights organization, said to be the world’s largest, penned an open letter to both companies, alerting them of the findings.
“No bag, belt, or wallet is worth such pain and suffering, especially since your designers have access to the most advanced and beautiful vegan leathers. These animal-free materials are more sustainable and can replicate the beauty of any exotic animal without harming them,” PETA wrote to Kering.
In its letter to LVMH, PETA highlighted that animal mistreatment has already been documented within the fashion company’s ostrich and crocodile supply chains.
PETA wrote, “Your company told us that you will take action if we can provide evidence of mistreatment directly linked to a farm you source from – and we have, again and again. Is your word of no value to you?
“As you know, there are ways to make money without causing such suffering. The world is turning to vegan materials, and innovative companies are leading the way. Isn’t it high time that you stopped using exotic-animal skins? Please say you will finally act.”
LVMH and Gucci’s inaction is evidence that the companies are “on the wrong side of history,” PETA’s vice president of international programs, Mimi Bekhechi, said in a statement.
They added: “PETA is calling on these companies to stop profiting from pythons’ and lizards’ misery and commit to a ban on exotic skins.”