A new video from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals allegedly reveals workers on a large sheep farm in Australia treating the animals cruelly in what PETA claims is a global problem.
PETA said in the past 16 months in has released five “exposés” recorded at 37 facilities on three continents — North and South America and Australia — revealing that sheep are “mutilated, abused and skinned alive — even for ‘responsibly sourced’ wool on so-called ‘sustainable’ farms.”
“Over and over, eyewitnesses have found that gentle sheep are punched in the face, slammed into the floor, and barbarically killed for wool sweaters and scarves,” said PETA executive vice president Tracy Reiman.
PETA also cites the practice of mulesing, which involves the removal of strips of wool-bearing skin from around the breech of a sheep to prevent flystrike, which the industry has long said is needed to protect the sheep from fly infestation. Animal rights activists claim this is painful and there are better alternatives to protect the sheep.
Shearers are often paid by volume, not the hour, said PETA, which it claims encourages fast, violent work that can lead to wounds on sheep’s bodies that workers stitch closed without giving the animals any painkillers.
A spokesman for Australia Wool Innovation, a not-for-profit enterprise owned by more than 25,000 wool growers that invest in the research, development and marketing of Australian wool, said, “AWI categorically and unequivocally condemns the mistreatment of animals and supports the use of the legal system to prosecute any criminal behavior. Since 2005, considerable progress in the research and development program has been made, with AWI investing $47 million in health and welfare R&D activities, including $28 million specifically in breech flystrike prevention.”
The spokesman said AWI has invested $2.8 million in the training of over 4,000 shearers and shedhands in the world’s best practice animal welfare in the last year and $7 million in the last five years.
“Through it’s various global campaigns and activities, AWI promotes the versatility, sustainability and modernity of wool,” the spokesman added.
In the wake of this latest video, PETA lead #WoolFreeWinter demonstrations in Los Angeles, New York and other cities across the country on the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, urging consumers not to buy wool clothing.