As cold weather hits Australia, PETA supporters have staged a thought-provoking protest in a Sydney shopping mall, urging shoppers to reconsider buying wool this winter.
Looking “beaten” and “bruised” and cradling a shorn “sheep”, the protesters held the demonstration after PETA and our affiliates released multiple video exposés 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.
Shearing Is Terrifying
Sheep are gentle prey animals who are petrified of even being held down, yet they endure vicious beatings and sustain bloody wounds and broken limbs when they’re used for wool.
Shearers are paid by volume, not by the hour, which encourages fast, violent handling that leaves gaping wounds on the animals’ bodies. Shearers crudely stich them up without providing them with any pain relief.
You’ve probably heard before that sheep need to be sheared, but that’s only because humans have genetically manipulated them over thousands of years to produce an unnatural amount of wool for our own purposes. Without human interference, sheep produce just the right amount of wool to keep them warm in the winter and shed it naturally during the warmer months. It’s arrogant to think that the animals whose bodies we have altered in order to make money wouldn’t be scared when we pin them down to rob them of their coats.
The Wool Industry IS the Live-Export Industry
Are you against live export? According to a recent Vote Compass survey, 58% of Australians think the export of live animals should be banned. Sheep who are considered no longer useful to the industry are sent to slaughter or on a traumatic journey aboard a live-export boat.
Here’s What You Can Do
Since 2014, PETA and our 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 showed that they beat scared sheep in the face, punched them, and stamped on their heads and necks. All six were found guilty.
We will continue to seek justice for sheep, but this abuse is systemic. The best thing you can do for sheep is refuse to buy wool. It’s easy to check the label before you buy clothing and other items. If it says “wool”, leave the item on the shelf and look for an animal-free alternative. To find brands that sell fashion-forward wool alternatives, take a look at our list of companies using the “PETA-Approved Vegan” logo.
Meanwhile, we’re asking retailers to stop selling this cruelly obtained material. Help us persuade Forever 21 to ban wool from store shelves: