Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) has snapped up a stake in French luxury goods retailer Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH), bolstering its efforts to stop makers of high end leather goods and clothes from using exotic animal skins in production.
Peta – known for staging elaborate protests and publicity stunts – confirmed in a statement on its website that it had bought the shares on Thursday. But the group, which owns Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Hennessy cognac among other high end brands, did not reveal the size of its holding.
Peta’s stake in the company will give it the right to attend shareholder meetings and question the board.
“Every Peta exposé of the exotic-skins industry has found sensitive living beings crammed into filthy pits, hacked apart, and left to die,” Ingrid Newkirk, the president of Peta, wrote in a statement published on the charity’s website.
“From demonstrating on the street to speaking up in the boardroom, Peta will push LVMH to stop selling any bag, watchband, or shoe made from a reptile’s skin.”
LVMH was not immediately available for comment.
The move by Peta comes in the wake of its investigation into crocodile farms, which have allegedly supplied skins to a tannery owned by LVMH.
The exposé showed the animals are confined to tiny pits and that they are sometimes cut into while still alive.
Last month, Sylvie Bénard, director of environment at LVMH, denied the allegations saying that the group’s tannery in Vietnam had not bought crocodile skins from any Vietnamese farms since 2014.
She said at the time: “We have no knowledge of a partner that would practise the method you referred to [. . .] any cruel method involving the suffering of the animal is in clear contradiction with our principles and rules.”
Peta has previously bought stakes in luxury goods houses, including Prada.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies