MILAN (Reuters) - Italian luxury down jacket maker Moncler said on Wednesday it had started an external audit of its suppliers to ensure they did not mistreat geese.
In 2014, the company denied allegations of animal mistreatment after a program on Italian state television RAI accused down jacket makers of using inhumane methods to pluck geese, sending its shares down.
Company officials said the group had hired independent inspectors to audit its suppliers and make sure they respected the terms of their contract with Moncler, which include a ban on the live plucking of geese and on the use of force-fed animals.
The inspectors, from a specialized company called Control Union, carried out 120 audits in 2015, the officials said.
"For the first time we now have a protocol to trace the source of our down. We have conducted detailed audits at our suppliers," Moncler Chief Financial Officer Luciano Santel said at the company's annual shareholder meeting.
Moncler says on its website that geese used for its jackets, which can cost more than 1,000 euros, "must be treated in a way that does not cause them any kind of suffering."
(Reporting by Claudia Cristoferi, writing by Silvia Aloisi, editing by David Evans)