For Immediate Release:

13 September 2018

Australian Retailer Phases Out the Cruelly Obtained Material

Sydney – A recent PETA Asia investigation of the mohair industry in South Africa – the source of more than 50 per cent of the world’s mohair – has prompted dozens of top international retailers to ban the cruelly obtained material. And now, Australian fashion giant Forever New – which has more than 250 stores in 10 countries as well as an online store that ships internationally – has joined the list. “Mohair does not meet our requirements,” the company stated, assuring PETA that it prides itself on taking care in sourcing the materials used in its garments.

PETA’s exposé, which is the first of its kind and encompasses 12 farms visited in January and February of this year, shows workers dragging goats by the horns and legs and lifting them off the floor by the tail, which could break their spines. Goat kids who were being shorn for the first time cried out in fear. Afterwards, workers threw them across the floor.

In August, South Africa’s National Council of SPCAs filed cruelty-to-animals charges against four angora goat farmers based on PETA Asia’s evidence. The national police force is investigating the farmers – as well as shearers and other farmworkers.

“Forever New recognises that no jumper or scarf is worth the blood, fear, and cries of gentle baby goats – and all other retailers should, too,” says PETA spokesperson Emily Rice. “PETA is reminding shoppers to check clothing labels carefully and to leave any item with mohair in it on the rack.”

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – notes that many goats’ sensitive ears were mutilated with tattoo pliers, which left them screaming in pain. Shearers – who are paid by volume, not by the hour – worked quickly and carelessly, leaving goats cut up and bleeding. Workers roughly stitched them up without giving them any pain relief.

Farmers admitted that after shearing, many goats die from exposure to the cold wind and rain – 40,000 reportedly died from exposure across South Africa in just one weekend. Unwanted goats also died in agonising ways: on one farm, a worker slowly cut the throats of fully conscious goats with a dull knife and then broke their necks, hacking one animal’s head right off. Other goats were hauled to an abattoir, where they were electrically shocked, hung upside down, and slashed across the throat.

Forever New’s policy extends to its Ever New stores in Melbourne and Canada. The company joins nearly 300 other major retailers worldwide – including Gap, H&M, Topshop, Gorman, ASOS, UNIQLO, and Esprit – that have banned mohair in response to PETA Asia’s investigation.

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