Australian Designer Ditches the Material as Industry Charges Are Laid

Sydney – Following a PETA Asia video exposé, the National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) has filed cruelty-to-animals charges against four angora goat farmers. The South African Police Service must now investigate the farmers – along with shearers and other farm workers – and will then submit the case to the national prosecutor. In response to the distressing footage, Australian company Gorman has confirmed it will phase out the use of mohair by 2020.

“For the first time, charges have been filed against mohair-industry workers for cruelly handling and slowly killing panicked goats,” says PETA spokesperson Emily Rice. “By banning mohair from future collections, Gorman has done the kind thing for animals and consumers.”

PETA US provided the NSPCA with video footage showing workers dragging goats by the horns and legs and lifting them off the floor by the tail. One worker could be seen slowly cutting the throats of fully conscious goats with a dull knife and then breaking their necks, hacking off one animal’s head. Each of the alleged violations of South Africa’s Animals Protection Act, 1962, is punishable by up to one year in prison and/or a fine of R4,000.

The exposé from PETA Asia – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – involved going inside 12 farms earlier this year. It revealed that angora goat kids cried out in fear and desperation as they were roughly handled and shorn. Shearers – who are paid by volume, not by the hour – left the animals cut up and bleeding, and workers roughly stitched them up without giving them any pain relief. Some goats were hauled to an abattoir, where they would be electrically shocked, hung upside down, and slashed across the throat.

Gorman joins nearly 300 other major retailers worldwide that banned mohair in response to PETA Asia’s exposé. These companies include Gap, H&M, Topshop, Forever 21, UNIQLO, and Esprit, among others.

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