Given that shearing takes place out of sight of the public, it was a historic moment today when a Scottish farmer pleaded guilty to cruelty to animals after being caught on video engaged in acts of flagrant cruelty to sheep.
The criminal charges against the farmer were the result of a formal complaint and video evidence that PETA Asia submitted to the Scottish SPCA after an eyewitness saw him viciously punch sheep in the face on his farm near Howgate in 2018. His actions can be seen in the video below (he’s wearing a blue T-shirt):
This is a huge milestone – but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s routine in the Scottish wool industry to kick, beat, and stamp on sheep, but so far, only one person – out of countless wool-industry workers caught abusing and mistreating sheep at 24 shearing sheds across Scotland – has been charged with cruelty to animals. It’s imperative that this industry be reformed immediately.
The farmer’s conviction follows a case in Australia in which six shearers were charged with a combined 70 counts of cruelty to animals after PETA US and PETA Asia caught them abusing sheep in similar ways. All six pleaded guilty.
PETA and our international affiliates have now exposed cruelty to sheep at 100 wool-industry operations on four continents. The investigations revealed shocking abuse, including that workers beat, kicked, cut, and stamped on sheep and threw them down chutes like bags of rubbish.
What You Can Do
The best thing that you can do for sheep is to refuse to buy wool. It’s easy to check the labels before you buy clothing and other items. If they mention wool, leave the items on the shelf and look for animal-free alternatives.
Please also share this shocking footage to help more people learn the truth about the way wool is produced.