Luxury group Hermès has defended its use of ostrich leather following a publicity stunt at its annual general meeting by a campaign group.

At the the event in Paris on May 31, a representative of an animal rights group spoke about a video showing poor treatment of young ostriches on a farm in South Africa and said the facility supplies exclusively to Hermès. She told French media she had bought one share in the luxury group to allow her to attend the meeting and make this intervention.

In response, Hermès chief executive, Axel Dumas, said: “Let’s stick to the facts. We take full responsibility for the partnerships we have in place with the farms from which we source, but Hermès does not have an exclusive provider of ostrich. We want them to apply best practice and we insist that all of our partners respect not just international regulations, but Hermès regulations, which are much stricter.”

The video in question was uploaded to the internet earlier this year. At that time, Hermès issued a statement explaining that the farm that features does not belong to the luxury group. It said it sources its ostrich leather not from farms but from tanneries. Furthermore, it said these tanneries, “like all of our suppliers” are subject to “careful, permanent checks”.


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