Exposed: Australian Wool Industry Continues to Abuse Sheep

A disturbing PETA video exposé of the Australian wool industry, the world’s top wool exporter – following a ground-breaking exposé in 2014 that led to the first-ever convictions of shearers anywhere in the world for cruelty to animals – reveals that workers continue to beat, stamp on, kick, mutilate, and throw sheep around while shearing them.

As you can see in this video footage, sheep shearers in Australia violently punched these gentle animals in the face and beat and jabbed them in the head with sharp metal shears. These attacks often left the petrified sheep bleeding from the eyes, nose, and mouth.

Terrified Sheep Assaulted

PETA’s video exposé highlights just some of the beatings and systemic suffering that an eyewitness uncovered in an industry where abuse is pervasive. The eyewitness saw cruelty in every one of the four Australian sheds visited across New South Wales and Victoria – Australia’s top wool-producing states.

When these prey animals panicked – terrified of being pinned down – the shearers stamped on them and stood on their heads and necks. They threw scared sheep around and slammed their heads and bodies against the hard wooden floors.

Nothing More Than a Commodity

Shearers are often paid by volume, not by the hour, which encourages fast, reckless work and can lead to severe injuries to the sheep, including cutting off large swaths of skin. Australian media have documented that many workers take illegal drugs to help them work even faster.

When workers were finished shearing, they disposed of the terrified sheep by shoving them into chutes like garbage bags. The eyewitness saw one worker lift up a sheep by the leg, stamp on her head, strike her with his knee, and then throw her into a chute.

Inherent Cruelty

Workers didn’t give sheep any pain relief before piercing their flesh with needle and thread to try to sew up gaping, bloody wounds caused by shearing. The eyewitness never saw injured sheep provided with any veterinary care.

When PETA affiliates exposed rampant cruelty in shearing sheds across Australia in 2014, the video evidence resulted in landmark cruelty convictions of shearers, and even the wool industry itself said that the abuse must stop immediately. But three years later, it hasn’t cleaned up its act, and gentle sheep still suffer at the hands of shearers.

You Can Help Stop This!

The best thing that you can do for sheep is to refuse to buy wool! It’s clear that cruelty to sheep is rampant in the wool industry, no matter where it comes from or what assurances the companies and the industry give.

Please, help sheep now by refusing to buy wool. It’s easy to check the label when you’re shopping. If it says “wool,” just leave it on the shelf.

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