The cost of fashion: Activists release 'horrifying' images from Vietnam crocodile farms

By VnExpress   December 23, 2016 | 02:35 pm GMT+7
The cost of fashion: Activists release 'horrifying' images from Vietnam crocodile farms
At a crocodile farm in Vietnam. Photo by AFP/Hoang Dinh Nam

Vietnam exports 30,000 crocodile skins every year, joining a global supply chain that involves brutal killing of millions, PETA said.

Ever fancy one of those luxury leather bags? Think again, animal rights group PETA says.

A new investigation by the group has exposed "cruel" killing at Vietnamese crocodile farms to supply luxury leather bags around the world.

In March and April the activists investigated two farms in southern Vietnam which reportedly supply crocodile skins to big fashion brands.

They captured graphic and disturbing footage of crocodiles raised and violently killed.

At one farm, around 5,000 crocodiles can be seen each cramped into pits smaller than the length of their bodies, for around 15 months before being finally slaughtered.

At the other farm, crocodiles are jam-packed in a concrete pit.

The newly released video shows the crocodiles received electric shocks before being skinned, starting with a cut at the neck.

PETA cited a reptile expert who watched the footage as saying that the incision would have been very painful and inhumane, and there is no probability that these animals die instantly.

A farmer in the video said some animals are alive even when they are skinned, a process that takes 15 to 20 minutes.

Vietnam exports 30,000 crocodile skins every year, joining a skin supply chain that involves the killing of millions of crocodiles each year.

PETA has earlier exposed the similar horrifying practice in the U.S. and Africa to serve the making of crocodile-skin bags, wallets, and other items.

“Many of the millions of the crocodiles killed each year for the skin may experience a prolonged painful death,” PETA said. “Exotic skins are product of extreme suffering.”

On its website, the organization is still asking people to sign a petition to demand Louis Vuitton and other brands to ditch exotic skins, a campaign it started a couple years ago.

WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES

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