Animal Rights Group Warns Chief Minister of Cruelty, Pandemic Risk
Darwin – Following news that a joint land investment involving overseas luxury brand Hermès is intended be the site of a new crocodile farm, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has written to the Northern Territory Government urging it to reject plans for any such venture.
The letter, sent to both Chief Minister Michael Gunner and Minister for Environment Eva Lawler, notes that the COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed the lives of more than 900 Australians and decimated the Northern Territory’s valuable tourism industry, is not random, but rather the result of human exploitation of animals.
“Wildlife experts warn that the international trade in the skins of exotic animals for luxury fashion also promotes the spread of zoonotic diseases, fuelling the risk of future pandemics like COVID-19,” writes Senior Outreach and Partnership Manager Emily Rice. “Given the very real risk to humans and the suffering it would inflict on the animals held captive there, it would be unconscionable for the Northern Territory Government to approve plans for a crocodile farm.”
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 for them. From the moment they hatch, farmed crocodiles are denied everything that’s natural and important to them, confined to small concrete pens, and 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.
One reptile expert, commenting on investigation footage obtained at one farm – which houses only 1/10th of the number of animals the proposed facility in Lambells Lagoon intends to imprison – called conditions “overly-restrictive, understimulating, and inhumane”.
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – notes that as we race to limit climate damage and mitigate pandemic risks, Australia must invest in humane, sustainable, future-proof projects and reject plans for factory farms that torment animals and create a breeding ground for diseases.
PETA opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. The group and its affiliates are currently urging Hermès to stop selling crocodile skin.