May 26, 2020
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, better known as PETA, is putting pressure on Italian fashion label Prada to abandon accessories made with the skins of wild animals.
The Norfolk, VA-based nonprofit timed its outreach to coincide with Prada’s May 26 annual meeting, enclosing a letter written to a financial and corporation communications executive within the Milan-based group.
“While PETA is a shareholder in the company, we were shut out of the annual meeting this year because of restrictions imposed by Prada, which is not allowing any questions from those not directly connected with the company or its agenda,” said Moira Colley, New York-based press outreach officer at PETA.
“The novel coronavirus first infected humans who came into close contact with captive wildlife at a live-animal market [in Wuhan in central China],” she said. “The [U.S.] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that approximately 75 percent of recently emerging infectious diseases affecting humans originated in other animals.”
These wild animals are typically confined and slaughtered in unsanitary conditions where diseases can easily spread, Ms. Colley pointed out.
Below in its entirety is the PETA letter to Prada:
Financial and Corporate Communication Senior Manager, Prada Group
Greetings from PETA. I hope you and yours are well despite these troubling times.
I'm writing to share this report from Britain's Independent, in which conservation experts warn that the exotic-skins industry fuels the risk for further pandemics. As in the notorious "wet markets," the exotic skins trade slaughters animals in unhygienic conditions like those that gave rise to COVID-19. As a matter of global social responsibility, would Prada join Chanel, Ralph Lauren, Jil Sander, and other brands that have banned the sale of exotic skins?
PETA and our affiliates have documented not only cruelty to animals but grossly unhygienic conditions on farms in the U.S., Africa, and Asia. Thousands of crocodiles are confined to cramped, filthy concrete pits for months or even years – some narrower than the length of their own bodies – before being slaughtered and skinned. Alligators are crammed together in fetid water and dank, dark sheds, without sunshine, fresh air, clean water, or even basic veterinary care. Workers have to feel around in the water with their hands and feet to try to catch the struggling alligators, with little to no safety equipment. They are often bitten and injured.
Please read the articles linked above, as well as the one published recently in La Repubblica – I would like to know what you think. Concerned consumers around the world are watching the way brands respond to this new era, and we would love to promote Prada as the latest brand that has chosen to leave wildlife in peace.
Senior Vice President, PETA
Reptiles killed for their skin
Vietnam's crocodile skin industry