Louis Vuitton & Gucci sell products made from cruelly killed snakes & lizards: animal rights group PETA

PETA's spokeswoman Ashley Byrne likened the grisly footage to a scene "straight out of a horror movie".

Fiona Tan | December 24, 2021, 01:19 PM

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The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a non-profit animal rights organisation, released gory footages taken at reptile slaughterhouses in Indonesia recently.

PETA also alleged that these slaughterhouses supply reptile skins that are inhumanely harvested to two of the biggest names in luxury fashion: Louis Vuitton and Gucci.

Related videos were filmed during undercover investigations in Asia, according to PETA's media release.

Undercover investigation in Asia

One of the slaughterhouses was a lizard killing facility in Indonesia that allegedly supplies reptile skin to Gucci.

In the potentially incriminating footage, workers can be seen callously handling live lizards with bound limbs.

Some of the lizards were pulled out of plastic crates, while others were pulled out of white plastic woven sacks. The footage showed at least four of such crates at the scene, and multiple white sacks.

The lizards were carried over to a circular wooden chopping block on the ground that is surrounded by pools of red blood and the limp carcasses of other lizards.

That was where the lizards would be beheaded and their feet and tail would be cut off with a machete.

In between the manoeuvre, workers were filmed dunking the lizards into a nearby pail of water, and bludgeoning the lizards with their machete for as many as 14 times before the decapitation was complete.

In highlighting the act of cruelty, PETA said that lizards remain conscious and can "feel pain over 30 minutes" even after being decapitated.


Screenshot via PETA's video.

A lizard with bound feet. Image courtesy of PETA Asia Pacific.

Worker dunking a lizard into a tub of water. Image courtesy of PETA Asia Pacific.

Worker decapitating a lizard on chopping block. Image courtesy of PETA Asia Pacific.

PETA's undercover investigations revealed a similarly grisly scene at a separate snake killing facility in Indonesia, which allegedly supplies snake skin to Louis Vuitton.

With a rope tied around their jaws, at least five pythons can be seen suspended from a wooden beam.

PETA described that the mouth and anus of the snakes were tied with a rope.

A worker was caught on camera for inserting a green water hose down a python's throat to inflate the snake's body with water, which supposedly makes the snakes' skin easier to be removed.

After the water was drained out of their bodies, the pythons was flayed with a small blade.

A worker was also captured striking a python on its head repeatedly with a hammer.

PETA said the pythons appeared "conscious across all stages".


Image courtesy of PETA Asia Pacific.

Screenshot via PETA's video.

Screenshot via PETA's video.

Screenshot via PETA's video.

"Straight out of a horror movie": PETA spokeswoman

Speaking to New York Post, PETA's spokeswoman Ashley Byrne likened the grisly footage to a scene "straight out of a horror movie" and this is the "first time" that PETA is able to demonstrate "abusive" and "inhumane" acts in slaughterhouses used by luxury brands.

Image courtesy of PETA Asia Pacific.

Byrne told New York Post that these facilities supply reptile skin to International Leather Works, an Indonesian-based company that is used by both LVMH and Kering.

According to International Leather Works website, the company aims to produce good quality leathers "with return contribute to the nature, human and environment."

The company also prides itself on having a traceability system for its customers to trace back to the origins of their purchased leathers.

The website however provides little details on the above sustainability efforts, and there were no mentions of how they safeguard animal welfare.

On Dec. 20, PETA's president Ingrid Newkirk sent letters addressed to the heads of Kering, the parent company of Gucci, and LVMH, the parent company of Louis Vuitton.

In the letters, Newkirk detailed the atrocities within these facilities and urged the brands to drop the use of exotic animals in their products:

“No bag, belt or wallet is worth such pain and suffering, especially since your designers have access to the most advanced and beautiful leathers."

According to Byrne, PETA is planning to stage protests at Gucci and Louis Vuitton stores in Las Vegas and New York.

PETA Asia Senior Vice President Jason Baker also calls for an end to exotic-skin sales:

“Louis Vuitton and Gucci are on the wrong side of history as long as they sell items made from animals who were beaten, sliced open, and hacked apart while still likely clinging to life. PETA is calling on these companies to stop profiting from pythons and lizards’ misery and end exotic-skin sales.”

LVMH and Gucci respond to allegations

Both fashion houses have since put up statements in response to PETA's allegations.

In a statement to WWD, Kering said it has always been committed to abiding by the "highest standards of animal welfare, sustainability and labor conditions in its sourcing of precious skins".

Addressing the lizard mistreatment and killings directly, Kering said that an internal investigation was launched immediately after PETA's allegations surfaced.

According to Kering, its investigations showed "no evidence that Kering brands are directly or indirectly connected with this facility or those practices”.

The conglomerate went on to add that such practices are "strictly forbidden" and have severe consequences if found:

"Should there be a proven connection between this facility and our supply chain, we would immediately terminate the business relationship."

LVMH, on the other hand, did not address PETA's allegations directly and told the New York Post that it is "actively involved in the sector's efforts to achieve the best possible practices".

LVMH continued by adding that its intention is to create products in the "most responsible and ethical manner possible".

You can read LVMH's full statement below:

“LVMH respects all views and sensitivities on the use of animal-based raw materials and we support and are actively involved in the sector’s efforts to achieve the best possible practices. Our intention is to provide customers with a product that has been made in the most responsible and ethical manner possible.”

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