Hermès’ Biggest Crocodile Farm Raises Concerns For New Pandemics.
First reported by ABC, Hermès’ Australian farm is expected to hold 50,000 saltwater crocodiles, which will be farmed for skin and meat products. The farm will reportedly cost $40 million to develop, increasing the number of farmed crocodiles in Northern Territory Australia by 50%. NT is the nation’s largest producer in the saltwater crocodile trade, seen as ethical providers of crocodile skins as well as having impressive standards of quality in this trade.
30 full-time workers will be employed to work on the farm. It will feature an egg incubator laboratory, a hatchery, grower pens, finishing pens, an open farm area and refrigerated feed preparation and storage areas.
CULTED was able to speak to a number of animal rights organisations about the issue. Dr Jed Goodfellow, Senior Policy Officer at RSPCA Australia wrote that while RSPCA Australia “is not aware of the specific details of animal welfare practices on this particular planned crocodile farm”. However, they are “opposed to the farming of crocodiles and other non-domesticated species until farming systems are developed that have no adverse effect on the welfare of the animal involved. We also oppose the killing of any animal where the purpose of their death is primarily to produce a non-essential luxury item like fur or skin”.
CULTED also spoke to PETA Australia, in which Australia Spokesperson Emily Rice said: “Given that wildlife experts warn that the international trade in the skins of exotic animals for luxury fashion promotes the spread of zoonotic diseases, fuelling the risk of future pandemics like COVID-19, it’s unconscionable that the Northern Territory government would approve plans for this crocodile farm.”
Emily Rice added that “Every PETA exposé of the exotic skins industry has shown that no matter where skins are sourced from – or the “standards” touted by brands – highly intelligent, sensitive animals endure squalid imprisonment and a violent death. From the moment they hatch, farmed crocodiles are denied everything that’s natural and important to them, are confined to small concrete pens and are unable to swim freely. When they’re killed, their snouts are bound and they’re electrocuted or shot and then stabbed in the neck to sever their spinal cord.”
Rice credited luxury brands such as Channel and Calvin Klein for their banning of exotic skins in their collection. She finished by urging the NT government to reject the plans in fear of cruelty to animals and the potential disaster for human health.
It’s an interesting move considering the growing awareness of animal products in fashion, mainly with a younger generation more prone to purchase fake leather goods or avoid that market entirely.
What do you guys make of this? Would you spend your money on crocodile skin products? Or stick to faux alternatives?
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See also: FUR IS DEAD – IS LEATHER NEXT?
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