After acquiring a small stake in LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton after publishing an exposé last year of the group's Vietnam crocodile farms — including two that have supplied skins to a tannery owned by LVMH — which are subjecting animals to an array of abuses, PETA has revealed that it will make its presence known at the Paris-based conglomerate’s annual meeting on Thursday. LVMH owns fashion brands including Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Celine, Loewe, Marc Jacobs, and Fendi, among others.
According to a statement from PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman on Wednesday, "PETA has exposed cruelty at reptile farms on three continents, and the story is always the same: grim confinement and violent deaths. LVMH can no longer get away with turning a blind eye to the immense animal suffering that's part of the production process for its bags, watchbands, and shoes."
This will not be the first time PETA has made such a demonstration. After acquiring a small stake in Hermès – a single share for $360 – in 2015 to gain access to the Paris-based design house's shareholder meetings, a representative from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals confronted Hermès' chief executive officer at the company’s annual general meeting in May 2016. Isabelle Goetz, a French spokeswoman for the non-profit animal rights organization, attended the brand's annual general meeting and asked CEO Axel Dumas if Hermès planned to stop using exotic skins, including those of ostriches.
Similarly, PETA confirmed last year that it had bought into Prada on the heels of an investigation that revealed that ostriches as young as one were being slaughtered in South Africa to produce the "goose bump" leather that Prada uses for its pricey handbags. According to a statement from the activist group, "Peta USA is taking the fight against cruelty into Prada meeting rooms where it will able to ask the company to end forever the use of ostrich leather in its bags."
UPDATED (4/14/2017): According to a statement from PETA, the group's representative was barred from LVMH's meeting, after announcing to the press that it planned to challenge the group's use of animal skins.
Per PETA's statement, "Upon arriving at LVMH’s annual meeting, PETA’s representative was refused entrance to the main meeting room and denied the opportunity to ask board members a question about the company’s appalling use of exotic-animal skins. Companies will go to great lengths to avoid confrontation about the suffering that animals endure at their hands. Although PETA is disappointed by LVMH’s rebuff, we remain steadfast in our efforts to advocate for change."
LVMH was not immediately available for comment.