For Immediate Release:
5 May 2016

New PETA Asia Campaign Reveals the Cruelty Behind Accessories Made With Snake and Crocodile Skin

Bangkok – At first glance, “Leatherworks” appears to be a pop-up shop of luxury goods inside one of Thailand’s largest shopping centers – but a new video (watch it here) reveals what’s inside the snakeskin shoes and crocodile-skin handbags: beating “hearts,” stretchy “sinew” and pools of “blood” that coat shoppers’ hands and feet. It’s all part of a new campaign created by Ogilvy & Mather Advertising Thailand aimed at shining a spotlight on the cruelty of the exotic-skins industry.

“Every year, hundreds of thousands of reptiles are crudely bludgeoned and skinned alive, all for the sake of so-called ‘luxury’ shoes, belts and bags”, says PETA Australia Associate Director Ashley Fruno. “PETA Asia’s gruesome pop-up shop reminds shoppers that the only way to keep blood and guts out of our closets is to choose vegan clothing, shoes and accessories.”

Thailand has the world’s largest crocodile farming industry and is the prime destination for international fashion brands looking for skins. About 700,000 crocodiles are raised in crowded tanks or pools of fetid, stinking water on 22 large-scale and 929 small farms across the country. A recent PETA US exposé revealed workers on crocodile farms sawing open reptiles’ necks while the animals are still alive. Northern Australia currently produces 10 per cent of the world’s market for crocodile products, with the skins exported to European fashion houses.

Snakes killed for their skins are commonly nailed to trees, and their bodies are cut open from one end to the other as they are skinned alive. Their mutilated bodies are then discarded, but because of these animals’ slow metabolism, it can take hours for them to die. Lizards are often decapitated, and others writhe in agony as the skin is ripped from their bodies.

“‘Leatherworks’ allows people to experience and see with their own eyes that every leather product caused a sensitive animal to endure a miserable life and suffer a terrifying death”, says Puripong Limwanatipong, Associate Creative Director of Ogilvy & Mather Advertising Thailand. “By surprising shoppers with the cruelty behind the exotic-skins industry, we can wake them up and spark change that will save animals’ lives.”

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