• Hidden cameras captured some horrified reactions, the footage appears in PETA Asia's new ad. (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)Source: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
This special effects team deserves and Oscar. Warning: Graphic video
By
Ben Winsor

20 May 2016 - 11:17 AM  UPDATED 20 May 2016 - 12:38 PM

PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, are known for their eye-catching campaigns and graphic depictions of violence against animals. 

Their latest viral video in Asia is no exception. 

Shot in Thailand and created by Ogilvy and Mather Advertising Bangkok, the video is a compilation of professional and hidden camera footage taken inside a fake leather goods store - but there's a catch. 

Inside leather jackets, wallets, gloves and shoes is very realistic flesh, tendons, blood an beating hearts.

"Jesus," shouts one woman as she recoils in shock. 

PETA told us the ad was eight months in the planning. They opened the doors to the horror store in April in one of Bangkok's busiest malls, CentralWorld.

PETA claims all the reactions are genuine, and that the video was shot within the first few days of opening.

The ad has been viewed and shared more than one million times. 

"Every year, hundreds of thousands of reptiles are crudely bludgeoned and skinned alive for the sake of so-called ‘luxury’ shoes, belts and bags," Associate Director of PETA Australia, Ashley Fruno, said. 

"PETA Asia’s gruesome pop-up shop reminds shoppers that the only way to keep blood and guts out of our closets is to chose vegan clothing, shoes and accessories," she said.

PETA's also posted a behind the scenes video as well as more graphic video of the practices the group protests against.

In one of PETA's video, lizards are shown having their throats slit, heads hanging by the remaining flesh while their mouths gasp as they bleed out. Snakes are shown being decapitated, their bleeding bodies writhing as workers tear off the skin.

The leather export industry is worth billions of dollars to Asian economies, where animal welfare protections are lax by Western standards. Cattle, lizards, snakes and crocodiles are used to create luxury leather items.

Thailand and Australia are some of the largest producers of crocodile skins in the world. Darwin Crocodile Farm estimate they have more than 70,000 crocodiles.

"In Australia there's a huge emphasis on keeping pens absolutely sparking clean, they use disinfection every time they clean the pen, and they clean them right after they feed the crocodiles," veterinary pathologist Cathy Shilton told the ABC.

She said the water was murkier and cleaned less often than in Thailand, but that the animals in farms she visited appeared to be free of stress.

“By surprising shoppers with the cruelty behind the exotic-skins industry, we can wake them up and spark change that will save animals’ lives.” Puripong Limwanatipong, an Associate Creative Director with Ogilvy & Mather said.

When we asked PETA where they sourced the leather goods in the video, we got a definitive response.

"They were definitely all fake leather items!" a spokesperson wrote back.