Tainted Fashion: In Vietnam, Crocodiles Are Cut Open, Skinned Alive for Luxury Leather Bags
Ever wonder where your fancy leather bag may have come from? A new exposé from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) reveals that besides U.S. and Africa, Vietnam also houses reptile farms that violate basic animal rights.
PETA investigated two farms in Vietnam which supply crocodile skin to Louis Vuitton’s parent company, LVMH, and “some of the biggest brands" to produce luxury leather products. An insider video courtesy of PETA revealed that workers at the leather farms electrocute crocodiles before killing them by cutting their necks and inserting metal rods into their spines (watch the video below).
During the gruesome process, the crocodiles "shake vigorously" and are not instantly killed. In fact, in the video, one of the crocodiles can be seen raising its legs while it's being cut open. Experts reveal that crocodiles are still conscious long after they undergo the inhumane killing process.
“The neck incisions would have been very painful and inhumane. There is no probability that these animals ‘died instantly," a reptile expert told PETA after watching the clip.
After leaving the crocodiles to bleed out, the leather farm workers in Vietnam move the animals to a separate room where they are skinned. However, not all of the crocodiles that are being skinned are confirmed dead. In the video, one of the crocodile still twitched after its skin was removed.
Besides the inhumane killing process, PETA says that the crocodiles at these Vietnamese leather farms suffer from bad living conditions. The reptiles are packed together into concrete pits, which may elicit aggression and spread of diseases among the animals.
In 2015, Daily Mail reported that the crocodiles at Lone Star Alligator Farm in Texas are also put through appalling conditions. The reptiles, some of which are just three years old, are shot in the head with a bolt gun before gutting their necks using a saw or box cutter.
PETA notes that even though anacondas and crocodiles are protected by the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), the gruesome trade still continues. In the U.S., reptiles are not covered by the Animal Welfare Act.