New Investigation Reveals Plight of Crocodiles Exploited for Their Skin on Hermès Farms

New Investigation Reveals Plight of Crocodiles Exploited for Their Skin on Hermès Farms

Appalling New Footage From Three Hermès-Owned Crocodile Farms Shows Animals Being Mutilated and Stabbed With a Screwdriver

London – Shocking new footage given to Kindness Project by the Farm Transparency Project reveals the appalling conditions endured by Australian saltwater crocodiles held captive on farms owned by French fashion house Hermès and its suppliers. The footage shows crocodiles confined to cramped cages or small concrete pits filled with filthy water, before they are electrocuted, dragged, and mutilated – some while still conscious. The footage shows one animal trying to get up after a worker has cut the back of his neck open with a blade and inserted a screwdriver into his skull in an attempt to scramble his brain.

“These images that look like they are straight out of a horror film remind us of what we already know: the exotic-skins industry is a bloody and cruel business,” says Mimi Bekhechi, vice president of international programmes at PETA. “It’s time for Hermès to stop factory farming wild animals and join Chanel, Jil Sander, and the many other designers who are turning away from animal skins in favour of innovative, ethical, and sustainable materials for which no one has suffered from horrible living conditions and a violent death.”

“Recent footage has proven that even the supposed highest standards in welfare cannot protect crocodiles from abhorrent living conditions and slaughter,” says Alix Livingstone, campaign director for Kindness Project. “It is imperative that we send a strong message that our precious wildlife are not objects to be commodified for the sake of luxury fashion demands.”

As Kindness Project notes, “Australia accounts for 60% of the global trade of crocodile skins, two thirds of which comes from the Northern Territory, where this footage was captured.” It adds that despite having a natural life expectancy of 70 years, crocodiles used for fashion are violently slaughtered when they’re only 2 or 3 years old and up to four crocodiles are required to make just one Hermès Birkin bag.

PETA US became a Hermès shareholder in 2015 after exposing cruelty at reptile farms in Texas and Zimbabwe that supplied a Hermès-owned tannery. In 2016, a PETA exposé revealed the suffering of young ostriches at a Hermès supplier, and in 2017, an exposé in Vietnam showed crocodiles locked in grim concrete stalls with unsanitary pools and subjected to violent deaths.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – notes that conservationists have highlighted the risk of causing future pandemics posed by the exotic-skins trade and continues to call on Hermès to ditch crocodile and other exotic skins. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327; [email protected]