For Immediate Release:
12 June 2019

Shoppers Urged to Leave Wool out of Their Winter Wardrobes After Numerous Investigations Reveal Cruelty in the Industry  

Sydney – Braving the cold in flesh-coloured bodysuits and cradling a bloodied “sheep”, “beaten” and “bruised” PETA supporters took to Pitt Street Mall today holding signs proclaiming, “Sheep Suffer – Ditch Wool” and “Sheep Kicked and Beaten for Wool”.

The protest follows multiple video exposés by PETA and its affiliates of the wool industry around the world – including in Australia – which showed shearers punching sheep in the face, stamping and standing on their heads and necks, and beating and jabbing them with electric clippers. Eyewitness investigations have also documented that lambs are deliberately mutilated and left with bloody open wounds on their backsides, their ears are hole-punched, their tails are chopped off, and males are castrated – all without any pain relief.

“Sheep are gentle prey animals who are petrified of even being held down, yet they endure vicious beatings, bloody wounds, and broken limbs in the hideously cruel wool industry,” says PETA spokesperson Emily Rice. “We want to encourage passers-by to ditch wool this winter in favour of soft and cosy cruelty-free materials for which no animal had to suffer.”

Since 2014, PETA affiliates have documented cruelty to sheep at 99 wool-industry facilities in Australia, the UK, North America, and South America. In Victoria in 2016, six shearers were charged with cruelty to animals after evidence – including, but not limited to, video footage of 235 incidents – showed that they beat scared sheep in the face and punched and stamped on their heads and necks. All six were found guilty. Two more PETA video exposés – which were recorded on sheep farms in Victoria and New South Wales and released in November 2018 – showed workers beating petrified sheep and burning off their tails with a hot knife, using no pain relief.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview – notes that shearers are often paid by volume, not by the hour, which encourages fast, violent handling that leaves gaping wounds on the animals’ bodies, which shearers crudely stitch up without giving the sheep any pain relief. When wool or breeding production slows and the sheep are no longer considered useful to the industry, they’re sent to slaughter, sometimes after a traumatic journey aboard a live-export boat.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.au