Style / Fashion

PETA Blasts Hermes for Animal Cruelty Again

The animal rights group has brought fresh allegations to light, against the luxury brand.

Jun 02, 2016 | By Vimi Haridasan

Luxury brands that use exotic skins are sure to run afoul of activists, as Hermes recently discovered. During its annual general meeting, PETA France spokeswoman Isabelle Goetz quizzed Hermes CEO Axel Dumas about the slaughter of ostriches on a farm said to be a supplier to Hermes and Prada.

The skins of exotic animals on the farm in South Africa are reportedly used in the brand’s luxury handbags. The treatment of the animals came to light in a video that showed the ostriches being slaughtered. The PETA video, which was published online in February, shows an ostrich being rammed into a pen to be stunned and then having its throat slit in front of other birds. Of course anyone who has ever frequented a wet market in Asia will wonder what the fuss is about.

Dumas maintained that the luxury brand does not have a specific supplier of Ostrich skin for its handbags but instead sources it from tanneries that are vetted by Hermes. “We ask all our partners to not only respect international laws but also Hermes’ rules, which are much stricter,” he said.

This is not the first brush with PETA fanaticism for Hermes, obviously. Last year, PETA released a film that exposed the maltreatment of crocodiles and alligators at farms in Texas and Zimbabwe. Following the scandal, British singer Jane Birkin — the muse behind the Birkin bag — asked Hermes to remove her name from its iconic crocodile-skin Birkin bag. Birkin reversed course, the relationship was restored and the Birkin remains, happily, the Birkin.


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