Reading Time: 2 minutes 'Whether bred in captivity or captured from the wild, the stress these tigers undergo when forced to pose for photos is immense' Credit: Adobe
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Italian luxury fashion house Gucci has come under fire for including tigers in a recent photoshoot.

For 2022’s Chinese New Year collection, the Year of the Tiger, several big cats are used to show off the threads.

But renowned advocacy organization, World Animal Protection (WAP) issues concerns and claims the brand is “glamorizing” tigers as pets.

Gucci blasted for using tigers in photoshoot

Images feature models adorning the garments in an extravagant house setting, the tigers at their feet and on furniture.

The fashion company insists the animals were photographed and filmed in a “safe” environment, separate from the models. Then, they were edited into the campaign shots.

Gucci’s Year of the Tiger campaign features animals alongside models

But according to Nick Stewart, who is the WAP’s global head of wildlife campaigns, Gucci is “sending the wrong message.”

And that’s because the campaign “glorifies” captive wild animals.

“The Year of Tiger should raise awareness that these incredible animals need respect and protection, not commodification,” he told PBN in a statement.

Additionally, he adds: “Tigers are under serious threat due to their exploitation as ‘pets’ and tourism selfie-props; use in traditional medicine; poaching; habitat destruction and the climate crisis. 

“Whether bred in captivity or captured from the wild, the stress these tigers undergo when forced to pose for photos is immense. 

“By depicting tigers as mere photo props, Gucci’s fashion campaign encourages consumers to treat them in the same harmful way.”

More ethical issues

According to Gucci, animal protection group American Humane Association (AHA) was present at the shoot as a third party to “monitor” operations. Gucci says the group was able to verify that none of the tigers were harmed.

Regardless of this information, WAP remains concerned about the use of tigers in the photoshoots.

Additionally, AHA has been exposed in the past over claims it has mistreated animals. “The AHA has not lived up to its professed role as stalwart defenders of animals,” reads The Hollywood Reporter.

The outlet lists examples where the organization let animals down, from horse deaths on the set of HBO’s Luck, to emails revealing that the tiger featured in the hit film Life of Pi had almost drowned.

Further, on the set of Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, a staggering 27 animals lost their lives. And yet the AHA kept its No Animals Were Harmed credit.

Emily is a News and Features Writer for Plant Based News. She has previously worked as a journalist in Devon, UK, reporting on local issues from politics to the environment.