Hazmat-Clad Protesters Hit London Fashion Week Over Exotic Skins

Hazmat-Clad Protesters Hit London Fashion Week Over Exotic Skins

PETA Supporters Point Out the Link Between Pandemics and Killing Animals for Bags and Shoes


London – As conservation experts warns that the trade in exotic skins risks fuelling the spread of diseases like COVID-19, a trio of PETA supporters wearing bright yellow hazmat suits and gas masks descended on London Fashion Week today to call on designers to drop exotic skins from their collections.



Photos from the action are available herehere, and here.


“The exotic-skins industry causes animals tremendous suffering – and now, we know it also causes deadly diseases,” says PETA Director Elisa Allen. “PETA is calling on Burberry and other British brands to shun this toxic material or risk the bad look of helping to bring about the next deadly pandemic.”

The COVID-19 pandemic is believed to have originated in a Chinese market where wild and exotic animals, both alive and dead, are sold. The intensive farming of exotic animals for both their flesh and their skins poses a risk of the animal-to-human transmission of newly evolved viruses. Exotic-animal farms are a breeding ground for pathogens and increase the risk of future pandemics.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – has released several exposés of the exotic-skins industry. The group has revealed that alligators are kept in fetid water inside dank, dark sheds before their necks are hacked open and metal rods are shoved into their heads in an attempt to scramble their brains, often while they’re fully conscious. Ostriches are transported by lorry to abattoirs, where workers turn them upside down in a stunner, slit their throats, and rip their feathers out. And snakes are commonly nailed to trees before their bodies are cut open from one end to the other as they’re skinned alive. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora has a bearing on only the number of animals traded, not the horrific manner in which they’re reared and killed nor the risk of future pandemics created by trading in their skins.

British brands Mulberry, Victoria Beckham, and Vivienne Westwood are all free from exotic skins – while brands such as Burberry continue to use the skins of tormented and violently killed exotic animals.

PETA opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.



Sascha Camilli +44 (0) 20 7923 6244; [email protected]