In 2018, PETA Australia spread the message in many ways that every animal is a unique individual who has the right not to be abused.
Our striking ads, demonstrations, and compelling videos garnered headlines and airtime and stirred up huge media (and dinner-table) discussions nationwide about the plight of animals. In our protest of the bloody Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain, we targeted participants from Australia and New Zealand – who account for the largest group of foreign runners at the cruel event. And our nearly 100,000 Facebook followers stay active and informed through our campaign alerts, eye-opening videos, and calls to take action.
Groundbreaking Victories for Animals
PETA worked with many companies – including Domino’s Pizza, Guzman y Gomez, San Churro, Muffin Break, Noshu, and Grill’d – to add vegan options to their offerings. With our help, Jetstar Airways launched its much-anticipated new vegan menu, which prominently features the company’s PETA Proggy Award (for progress) and is now in seatbacks on more than 5,000 flights a week.
We released a video exposé of a company that supplies Norco, Australia’s oldest and second-largest dairy cooperative, whose products are sold in supermarkets such as Coles, Woolworths, and Aldi. As the shocking video footage shows, a worker violently bludgeoned a calf to death with a hammer, sick and lame animals were left for days without much-needed veterinary treatment, and a live cow was dragged by the neck through the mud after repeated attempts to kill her with a captive-bolt gun failed. Massive media coverage ensured that millions of people learned of the abuse that occurs in Australia’s dairy industry.
Another first-of-its-kind PETA video exposé revealed cruelty on all 12 angora goat farms visited in South Africa, the world’s top mohair producer. Shearers left goats bleeding from the face and ears, cut off swathes of skin, and crudely stitched up wounds without providing any pain relief. Robbed of their natural insulation, up to 80 per cent of the goats on some farms reportedly die from exposure after shearing. PETA and our international affiliates have since persuaded more than 340 brands to ban or phase out mohair, including Esprit, Forever New, Gap, Gorman, H&M, Macpac, Ralph Lauren, UNIQLO, and Zara. The exposé also resulted in the first-ever cruelty-to animals charges being filed against mohair-industry workers.
PETA representatives were interviewed by many major news outlets in Australia after our release of a new video exposé of the wool industry – the latest in a years-long series – in which workers can be seen violently punching frightened sheep in the face, stamping and standing on their heads and necks, and beating them and jabbing them in the head with electric clippers. The violent shearing process left large, bloody cuts on their bodies, and gaping wounds were stitched up with a needle and thread and no pain relief. This cruelty was observed at five shearing sheds in New South Wales and Victoria and occurred three years after PETA exposed similar rampant abuse across Australia – the world’s top wool exporter – which resulted in landmark cruelty convictions against shearers.
In a huge victory for sheep, New Zealand banned mulesing – the barbaric mutilation in which instruments resembling gardening shears are used to cut huge chunks of skin and flesh from lambs’ backsides. This is the latest victory in a campaign that was kicked off more than 10 years ago by PETA and our international affiliates. We held demonstrations around the world, enlisted the support of numerous celebrities, and persuaded a long list of leading retailers and designers – such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Timberland, H&M, American Eagle, Liz Claiborne, Hugo Boss, Perry Ellis International, Coldwater Creek, and many others – to pledge not to use wool from mulesed lambs.
As a result of pressure from PETA, Animals Australia, and other groups, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources suspended the licence of Emanuel Exports, Australia’s largest sheep exporter. This will help prevent sheep from being packed by the tens of thousands onto ships in which they’re forced to stand in urine and faeces for weeks on end, destined for slaughter in the Middle East or North Africa. On these vessels, sheep often die of disease or are crushed or trampled to death. Those who survive the journey experience a terrifying fate once they arrive at their destination – they’re dragged, beaten, and tied up, and their throats are often slit while they’re still fully conscious.
Following campaigns by PETA and the Victorian Alliance for Platypus-Safe Yabby Traps against yabby – or “opera house” – traps, retailers BCF, CH Smith Marine, Big W, Kmart, and Anaconda stopped selling them and the government of Victoria banned their use. These enclosed, netted traps result in an agonisingly painful death for not only yabbies but also the non-target victims they ensnare, including platypuses, rakali, turtles, and aquatic birds.
PETA also made major progress for animals with the following successful actions:
- We persuaded juice company Sunraysia to stop sponsoring the King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament in Thailand after video footage taken by PETA Asia showed that elephants at the event were violently beaten with bullhooks.
- We persuaded the University of Canberra to ban petting zoos because such exhibits contribute to a cruel cycle of breeding, abandonment, and killing.
- Following pressure from PETA, New Zealand designer Annah Stretton went fur-free, sparing animals the misery of being trapped, bludgeoned, electrocuted, or skinned alive.
Informing, Persuading, Liberating
Popular celebrities – including actors Arianwen Parkes-Lockwood, Gillian Anderson, Hugh Sheridan, Mena Suvari, and Penélope Cruz, along with DJ Tigerlily and cricketer Adam Zampa – helped PETA put animal issues in the headlines and urged people to go vegan, drop fur, adopt animals from shelters instead of buying them from pet shops, and choose an all-round cruelty-free lifestyle.
PETA generated momentum for our campaigns through outreach initiatives, including the following:
- We asked theatres showing the popular musical Peppa Pig’s Surprise to honour the lead character by not serving pig flesh – or any animal flesh – during the show’s run. The Herald Sun, the Daily Mail, and other outlets covered the story, spreading our message nationwide.
- Numerous newspapers ran our letter to the editor demanding that the government levy a meat tax rather than handing out hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars to farmers so that they can feed animals dying because of the drought while ignoring the fact that the real problem – climate change – is caused in large part by animal agriculture.
- After a transport-truck crash resulted in the deaths of thousands of chickens in New South Wales, our request for a roadside memorial ignited a huge media storm that conveyed the message to millions of people that no animal wants to endure a violent, painful death, whether on the road or at an abattoir.
- We collaborated with Lord of the Fries – Australia’s first all-vegan fast-food chain – on a limited-time addition to its menu: vegan poutine with blue “cheese” sauce and gravy.
Around the World
From sparing thousands of animals suffering in laboratories to crippling the mohair trade to rescuing animals trapped in hurricane floodwaters, PETA affiliates around the world also had momentous success in 2018.
PETA Australia’s affiliates in Asia, France, Germany, India, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States all helped secure major achievements for animals this year. Demonstrations, ad campaigns, and social media engagement drew attention to animal issues, and investigations, corporate work, legal efforts, youth outreach, and other activities helped stop animal suffering. Watch this video to see PETA US’ inspiring accomplishments from the past year:
How You Can Help
PETA is able to continue our work for animals thanks to our members, who are vital in supporting our efforts, and our activists, who take a stand against animal abuse by contacting governments, companies, organisations, and individuals via our online petitions.
Please join them and help make our work for animals in 2019 even more successful: