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Undercover Investigators Expose Atrocities on Alligator Farms that Supply Retailer Hermès

June 24, 2015 by Leave a Comment

The News

UPDATE: On July 24th, one month after PETA released video showing crocodiles and alligators used to make Birkin bags being tortured, British singer Jane Birkin has asked Hermès to remove her name from the line of handbags: “Having been alerted to the cruel practices reserved for crocodiles during their slaughter to make Hermes handbags carrying my name… I have asked Hermès to debaptise the Birkin Croco until better practices in line with international norms can be put in place.”


In 2001, a NY Times fashion writer reported that Jessica Seinfeld, the wife of comedian Jerry Seinfeld, attempted to use her famous last name at an Hermès store to jump to the front of a waiting list for a Birkin Bag, a purse regarded by many as the ultimate status symbol. Ms. Seinfeld, exasperated by negative stories written about her in gossip columns, denied the allegations in subsequent media coverage. Lost in the celebrity scandal were the real victims: the alligators and crocodiles who are raised and slaughtered in concrete factories to make the purses.

Reality star Kris Jenner wears Hermès purse made from alligator skin (photo:

Reality star Kris Jenner wears Hermes purse made from alligator skin (photo:

In 2014, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sent undercover investigators into factories in Zimbabwe and Texas that supply Hermes with their crocodiles and alligators. Video footage shows employees cutting into their bodies while they are fully conscious, sawing into the back of their necks with a box cutter to sever their blood vessels and stabbing them in an attempt to dislocate their vertebrae during the drawn-out slaughter process. Investigators documented crocodiles bleeding out and writhing in agony for several minutes.

The undercover investigation also revealed the conditions in which the alligators and crocodiles are housed. In the wild, these intelligent animals raise their young, use tools to capture their prey and live for decades, often longer than humans. On factory farms, the crocodiles are intensively confined in concrete pits, forced to live in pools of their own excrement and denied the chance to do anything that comes naturally to them. They are slaughtered after just one year.

Alligators at farm that supplies Hermès live in excrement-filled concrete pits

Crocodiles at Hermes crocodile skin supplier live in excrement-filled concrete pits

Hermès' alligator factory farm in Zimbabwe

Hermes’ crocodile factory farm in Zimbabwe

Hermès suppliers slaughter up to four alligators to make just one Birkin bag. The skins are also used to make watchbands, belts, shoes and other accessories.

Alligator: before & after

Alligator: before & after

In a statement included in the NY Times story about the PETA investigation, Hermès defends its products and expresses no remorse about the brutality exposed in the video.

In Texas, the Chambers County District Attorney is conducting an investigation at Lone Star Alligator Farms.

Crocodiles at Hermes supplier in Zimbabwe

Crocodiles intensively confined at Hermès supplier in Zimbabwe

Your Turn

The alligators sold by Hermès are subjected to unspeakable atrocities on their journey to becoming a purse. Please sign letter asking Hermes to stop selling items made from crocodile and alligator skins.

Up to 4 alligators must be slaughtered to make one Hermès Berkin Bag

Up to 4 alligators must be slaughtered to make one Hermès Birkin Bag

Filed under: Clothes, Investigations
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Hunters Invited to Kill Alligators in Florida Everglades Nature Preserve

August 15, 2014 by Leave a Comment

The News

On Friday, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will open a National Wildlife Refuge to nighttime alligator hunting. The Animal Rights Foundation of Florida  (ARFF) which will protest the hunt at the park entrance, said “Refuges should be places where animals are protected from harm and not hunted for fun or profit.” Because guns are prohibited, hunters will be required to “hook or ensnare the alligators” and then kill them with a “pole that shoots a shotgun shell or bullet into the alligator’s brain.” This method, ARFF says, “often leaves them conscious and suffering for a long time before they die.”

alligator hunt

Your Turn

Their prehistoric looks and reputation for being dangerous make alligators a target not only for trophy hunters who want to kill them but also for TV personalities who want to wrestle them. But alligators don’t want to die, and they don’t want to wrestle; they just want to be left alone, like every other wild animal. Do people who watch alligator wrestling believe that the animals are willing participants? Learn more about sport hunting and see what you can do.

Filed under: Entertainment, WIldlife
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