A recent report presented by the Asian arm of a leading animal rights group is calling out two of the fashion industry’s biggest brands for a number of animal welfare violations, including the inhumane slaughter methods for snakes and lizards farmed for leather.
The results of an investigation conducted by PETA Asia revealed that Gucci and Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH), the mother company for luggage legend Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Fendi, and Marc Jacobs, were getting their leather from slaughterhouses that employed brutal methods for extracting leather from farmed reptiles and amphibians.
According to PETA representatives, not a single leather item was worth inflicting pain and suffering on hapless animals.
Brutal methods found
Based on their findings, staff at several LVMH suppliers would force hoses down the gullets of pythons. Then, as the water pressure forced the animal’s girth to expand, workers claimed that they would be easier to skin.
It was also noted that workers would repeatedly pound on the snakes’ heads with hammers, then cut through them with razors for gutting. The latter was described as an act of vivisection, seeing how some of the animals were still conscious.
Among Gucci suppliers, on the other hand, conscious lizards would be held underwater – an act meant to stun them prior to decapitation. Unfortunately, even this, supposedly one of the cleanest methods of slaughter, would be botched by workers, with some lizards being hit over ten times with a machete before their heads could be severed from the bodies.
This is not the first time that PETA has called out fashion’s grandes maisons for cruelty to animals. Previously, the organization already called out LVMH executives for the deplorable conditions seen at the facilities of its ostrich feather and crocodile leather suppliers. Then, PETA executives reminded the maison’s management that they gave their word that they would take action if solid evidence was presented regarding the maltreatment of animals in their supply chains.
The wrong side of history
Unfortunately, the company appears to have turned a blind eye to its suppliers’ activities and has yet to take appropriate action. This continuing inaction has caused PETA vice-president for international programs Mimi Bekhechi to inform the luxury goods manufacturer that it, and companies like it, now stand on the wrong side of history.
PETA has been adamant in its call to the world’s fashion brands for a complete ban on animal skins. Instead, designers working for these fashion houses are being asked to consider the use of vegan leathers in their work, citing the quality and sustainability of the material.