August 31 2021

BREAKING

Iconic, native saltwater crocodiles are living miserably and being brutally slaughtered in Australian factory farms set up by luxury fashion house Hermès, in order to provide themselves with a continuous supply of their skin for handbags and accessories. These bags sell for tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars – in other words, the will of a small, wealthy minority is dictating the abhorrent treatment of native Australian wildlife.

Shocking new footage reveals thousands upon thousands of crocodiles living in tiny wire cages and barren concrete pens, before being electrocuted and then shot with a bolt gun, their spinal cords severed, and a screwdriver forced into their heads to scramble their brains. Some crocodiles were seen to be breathing rapidly and even trying to stand after this excruciating ordeal.

The campaign by new animal protection organisation Kindness Project comes as Hermès gears up to begin construction on a new crocodile farm in the Northern Territory, set to exploit 50,000 saltwater crocodiles once completed. 

Despite industry claims that the crocodile farming industry provides huge economic benefits to the region, a report collated by Kindness Project found that the industry provides just 0.23% of Gross State Product. The report also identified a number of key industry opportunities that could replace and exceed jobs in the crocodile farming industry if it were to be phased out.

Kindness Project are calling on Hermès to end this deplorable treatment of native wildlife and drop the use of crocodile skins from their collections in favour of sustainable, animal-free alternatives.

Kindness Project Campaign Director Alix Livingstone said:

“We cannot stand by and allow luxury fashion houses to use and abuse our precious native wildlife to appease the fashion appetite of the world’s elite. These iconic animals must be protected from commodification and violence.”

“In a time where we have access to innovative, sustainable and animal-friendly materials, it is unacceptable for luxury fashion houses to be subjecting animals to a life of misery and a brutal death to make accessories.”

“There are clear paths forward to move away from this unethical industry whilst still ensuring those it employs in this country are not left behind. Our transition plan identifies a number of opportunities in the Northern Territory to not only ensure people would not be put out of jobs, but actually create more.”

“A common misconception within the public is that the industry is acting to cull crocodiles and keep population numbers down. This however is untrue; the industry itself has stated that the wild harvesting of crocodile eggs has no bearing on wild population numbers as they are taken at a time in the lifecycle when those eggs likely would not have survived in the wild.”

For further information or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson, contact:

Alix Livingstone
Campaign Director
alix@kindnessproject.org.au

Editor notes:

  • Australia accounts for 60% in the global trade of crocodile skins, two thirds of which come from the Northern Territory.
  • The footage comes from four farms in the Northern Territory, three of which are owned in partnership with Hermes (Darwin Crocodile Farm at Bees Creek, Janamba Crocodile Farm at Middle Point, and Lagoon Crocodile Farm at Knuckey Lagoon), and the fourth claiming to supply both Hermes and Louis Vuitton (Crocodylus Park at Knuckey Lagoon). 
  • The full campaign can be viewed on the Kindness Project website.
  • The full report ‘Northern Territory Crocodile Transition Plan’ can be found here
  • Saltwater crocodiles can live up to 70 years in their natural habitat, on farms they are killed at just 3-4 years old, with up to four crocodiles being required to make just one Birkin bag.
  • Crocodiles live in isolated, barren concrete pens where they have little room to move or express any behaviours that come naturally to them.
  • Crocodiles are killed by first being electrocuted, dragged from their pens whilst their bodies convulse, a bolt gun is shot into the top of their head, a knife is used to serve their spinal cord, before a rod is forced into their heads intended to scramble their brains.

About Kindness Project ​​Kindness Project is an animal rights organisation dedicated to dismantlement of the animal industrial complex, seeking to help forge a path to a kinder, more sustainable future for animals, humans and the planet alike. To learn more about Kindness Project and how you can take action for animals, visit: www.kindnessproject.org.au

Author:
Kindness Project

Kindness Project is an animal rights organisation that has been born out of the belief that in order to dismantle the animal industrial complex (AIC) it is imperative that our advocacy is inclusive of all those who are harmed by it.