PETA Sends Barnaby Joyce Vegan Crocodile-Skin Wallet

Animal Rights Group Urges Deputy PM to ‘Put Aussie Dollars Into Aussie Vegan Ventures’

Canberra – Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has received an unusual gift from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA): a vegan crocodile-skin wallet containing a $2 coin. A card accompanying the gift urges the government to “put Aussie dollars into Aussie vegan ventures”, referring to the French ownership of Australian crocodile farms at the centre of a shocking new investigation into industry cruelty.

A Sans Beast vegan wallet with a two dollar coin

Last month, footage given to Kindness Project by Farm Transparency Project revealed the appalling conditions endured by Australian saltwater crocodiles held captive on the farms owned by luxury French fashion house Hermès and its suppliers. Australia currently exports 60% of the world’s saltwater crocodile skin. Hermès is planning to expand its operations in the Northern Territory by building Australia’s biggest crocodile farm, which will imprison up to 50,000 animals at a time.

The investigation reveals crocodiles confined to cramped cages or small concrete pits filled with filthy water before being electrocuted, dragged, and mutilated – while some are still conscious. One animal is seen trying to get up after a worker has cut the back of his neck open with a blade and inserted a screwdriver into his skull in an attempt to scramble his brain.

“Mr Joyce is always espousing Australian ownership, so we thought he’d appreciate this gift from Melbourne brand Sans Beast,” says PETA Campaigns Advisor Mimi Bekhechi. “It’s made from vegan embossed leather and serves to remind the government that it’s well past time for Australia to stop profiting from animal skins and promote the production of innovative, ethical, and sustainable materials for which no one endured horrific living conditions and a violent death.”

As Kindness Project notes, “Australia accounts for 60% of the global trade of crocodile skins, two thirds of which comes from the Northern Territory, where this footage was captured.” It adds that despite having a natural life expectancy of 70 years, crocodiles used for fashion are violently slaughtered when they’re only 2 to 3 years old and that up to four crocodiles are killed to make just one Hermès Birkin bag.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – notes that conservationists have highlighted the risk of causing future pandemics posed by the exotic-skins trade and continues to call on Hermès to ditch crocodile and other exotic skins through, among other means, a consumer action alert. For more information, please visit PETA.org.au or follow the group on Facebook or Instagram.

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