PETA Australia Files Complaint With Authorities After Latest Eyewitness Evidence of Rampant Cruelty in Australia’s Wool Industry

For Immediate Release:
November 25, 2015

Adelaide – A new video exposé revealed that workers from a New South Wales–based shearing company on a massive sheep farm in South Australia cut flesh off sheep’s backsides with shears and threw and kicked the animals, among other abuses.

As revealed by the eyewitness investigation, a supervisor slammed an orphaned lamb against a floor and threw the young animal into a paddock to die. As the lamb lay kicking in agony, a shearer laughed. Workers crudely hacked flesh off lambs’ backsides in an attempt to prevent flystrike – a problem caused by breeding sheep to produce excessive amounts of wool. The eyewitness saw no pain relief being administered to the animals. There are many successful humane methods already being used by many farmers in Australia to control flystrike (more than 20 per cent of farmers don’t mules), and New Zealand has stopped mulesing altogether. Sheep can be spared flystrike and mulesing through close monitoring and timely shearing and by applying anti-flystrike chemicals during fly season.

PETA Australia has filed a complaint urging the RSPCA to investigate and hold the workers accountable for any violations of Australia’s cruelty-to-animals laws they may have committed.

PETA affiliates have now released video footage from 20 shearing facilities across three states – and abuse was found at every single one.

“In every single wool investigation, PETA affiliates have found abuse. Gentle sheep are punched in the face, slammed into the floor and barbarically killed for wool sweaters and scarves”, says PETA Australia Director of Campaigns Jason Baker. “PETA is calling on kind people everywhere to ditch wool.”

Shearers are often paid by volume, not the hour, which encourages fast, violent work that can lead to gaping wounds on sheep’s bodies, which workers roughly stitch closed – without giving the animals any painkillers. But instead of addressing the abuse, the government has criticised the eyewitnesses for making the abuse public.

Broadcast quality footage and photos from the investigation are available upon request. For more information, please visit or click here.