Jennifer Lopez slammed by PETA for 'blood-soaked' crocodile handbag

Jennifer Lopez has angered animal rights activists by showing off a luxury crocodile hide handbag worth more than $100,000 (£76,000)

The star was spotted with the Hermes Himalaya Birkin crocodile bag, known as the world's rarest, while out and about in New York City with her fiance Alex Rodriguez on Sunday (17Mar19).

The manufacture of the line, which is made from the skin of the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus), has long angered activists from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and they condemned Jennifer for sporting an accessory they claim promotes animal cruelty.

"Jennifer has stooped to a new fashion Lo with this blood-soaked ensemble - and her choice of this ugly, cruelly produced handbag is extra-shameful when you consider that she could have any bag she desired," Mimi Bekhechi, PETA's Director of International Programmes, tells WENN.

Hermes' Birkin collection is named after English actress and singer Jane Birkin, who in 2015 demanded her name be removed from the bags after PETA released footage they claimed showed live reptiles being skinned or sawed open on farms that supply luxury brands. Jane dropped her demand after Hermes bosses stated the problem was an "isolated irregularity" in the slaughter process at one farm in Texas and pledged to cut ties with any farm found flouting welfare rules.

Citing the video, Mimi claimed workers "thrust rods down the animals' spines" while they are still alive in a "hideously painful" way and called on Jen to follow the lead of fashion designers such as Victoria Beckham and Jean Paul Gaultier, who have pledged to drop designs featuring exotic animals.

Despite protests from animal lovers, Birkin bags are one of the world's most sought after luxury goods, and retail for around $100,000 but a bag in a similar design to Jennifer's featuring white gold and diamonds sold at auction in Hong Kong for $380,000 (£286,000) in 2017. Other vintage versions have also broken European auction records.

The bag wasn't the only pricey luxury item the Maid in Manhattan star showed off on her night out with Alex, as she also sported her $1.8 million (£1.4 million) engagement ring while enjoying a dinner date at New York's Polo Bar.

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