Crocodile Farming in Australia

Saltwater crocodiles are factory-farmed in massive numbers across Australia mainly for the sake of luxury fashion – their skins are made into very expensive (and very non-essential) handbags, belts and wallets.

Image credit – The Farm Transparency Project

There are currently at least 21 intensive facilities in operation in Queensland and the NT, raising hundreds of thousands of crocodiles for slaughter. These farms must comply with the Code of Practice on the Humane Treatment of Wild and Farmed Australian Crocodile (The Code) a document which outlines “an achievable minimum standard of humane conduct in regard to the treatment of wild and farmed crocodiles”. The Code was endorsed in 2009 and was based on the known best practices of the time (which were already scientifically underinformed)  and has not seen any amendments or updates since its conception 15 years ago.

On 30 July 2023, an independent review of the Code began to ensure the “Australian crocodile farming industry continues to be managed to world-class standards.” The review aims “to ensure Australian crocodiles are being properly cared for when removed from the wild and housed in farm environments.”

We know that there is no way that crocodiles can be humanely farmed and killed for their skin (see below for the conditions they are subjected to) yet the industry is hiding behind a smokescreen of ‘welfare’ and ‘sustainability’ claims.

The review will consider if the Code is clear, scientifically informed, and appropriate for users, and look for improvements. Public comments are invited – there is a survey and a submission link to leave feedback.

The review aims to ensure that “Australia is a global leader in the humane treatment of crocodiles” and offers us a unique opportunity to speak out for their welfare.

The review is asking for feedback on 5 questions:

1.What changes to the current Code of Practice would you recommend and why?

2.What should be included in the revised Code of Practice that does not appear in the current Code of Practice and why? (examples may include Indigenous knowledge and specific advances in science and technology).

3.What will be required to support implementation of the revised Code of Practice and why? 

4.What scientific literature needs to be considered by the review?

5.Is there anything additional you would like to add?

Here are some slides to help with your survey or submission response.

You can watch the video below for some guidance on how to make a submission:

Join the actions here:

•Sign the petition to call on the Minister for Environment and Water, The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, to not grant Hermès an export permit for crocodile skins: https://www.worldanimalprotection.org.au/take-action/crocodiles-fashion-victims

•Tell Hermes it’s time to #dropcroc – https://www.defendthewild.org/drop-croc

Attend the premiere of the Skin Deep Documentary



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