PETA denounces the inhumane practices used in Vietnam to harvest crocodile skins for well-known fashion brands
Animal right group PETA has denounced the extremely cruel way in which crocodiles are slaughtered and their skins harvested in Vietnam for luxury bags and wallets. Footage released by the NGO reveals scenes which are barbaric and deeply disturbing.
First the crocodiles are given a series of electric shocks to stun them. A deep incision is then made across the animal’s neck, before a steel rod is driven down their spinal column, in a process known as ‘pithing’, to destroy nerve tissue. The animals are then left to suffer in agony for over an hour, slowly bleeding to death.
According to Clifford Warwick, a consultant biologist who was shown the footage, ‘the neck incisions would have been very painful and inhumane.’ He went on to add that ‘there is no probability that these animals died instantly.’
The video recorded by PETA backs up his words: footage shows that the crocodiles are breathing as they are carried from the first torture chamber to another room where they’re finally skinned. Even after their skins have been completely removed, many crocodiles can be seen still moving.
But this horrific cruelty is not restricted to the animals’ final hours. Prior to slaughter, they’re kept for 15 months in tiny concrete enclosures, little bigger than their bodies.
PETA maintains that all this suffering is for purely commercial gains. The farm where the footage was taken kills 1,500 crocodiles every three months to satisfy the demand for luxury items manufactured by fashion giants such as LVMH, parent company of Louis Vuitton, Loewe, and Dior, among others.
PETA’s president Ingrid Newkirk has called on consumers to help bring an end to these barbaric practices by refusing to buy items that were once animals. ‘A crocodile-skin bag means a living, feeling being experienced a miserable life and a ghastly death,’ she said.