Eyewitness Investigations Make Waves in the Wool Industry on Two Continents
One worker attacked a lamb with a hammer. Another twisted and broke a sheep’s neck during shearing. On dozens of occasions, workers used needle and thread to sew up gaping, bloody wounds on sheep’s bodies – without any painkillers or veterinary assistance.
The undercover exposé has been making waves all around the world. Before these investigations, many consumers had no idea about the cruelty endemic in the wool industry.
The following are some of the things happening now that will prevent sheep from being abused in this way:
- Millions of people have watched and shared videos of the investigations, changing the way they think about wool forever.
- Major news outlets all over the world have covered the story, including NBC, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Independent, The Guardian and the Daily Mail.
- Compassionate people from all over the world have written to retailers Ralph Lauren and J.Crew to ask them to stop supporting the wool industry’s cruelty and switch to animal-friendly fabrics.
- In both Australia and the US, investigations of the perpetrators are underway.
- The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Australia confirmed that the suspects “will be investigated” for potential violations of the New South Wales and South Australia cruelty-to-animals statutes, and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries is investigating the matter in Victoria.
- In the US, numerous law-enforcement investigations are underway in Colorado and Wyoming, where Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz said that the video “is highly concerning and we are taking it very seriously. … If our investigation shows it is warranted, we will file any appropriate criminal charges”.
- Senior figures from the wool industry have reacted strongly to the video footage.
The Shearing Contractors’ Association of Australia announced that it is “appalled by the footage” and “applauds the investigation”.
WoolProducers Australia President Geoff Fisken said the behaviour shown in the video was “unacceptable and unsupportable”.
An American Sheep Industry Association representative stated, “Rough handling of animals that might result in the injury of a sheep is … unacceptable .… Kicking, throwing and poking the eyes of sheep are also unacceptable practices”.
The executive director of the Colorado Wool Growers Association joined PETA US’ call for prosecution and said of the video, “Everything about that was wrong”.
- Australian politicians have also expressed outrage. Barnaby Joyce wrote on his website: “There is no doubt these images are disturbing“. Australian Capital Territory Primary Industries Minister Shane Rattenbury added that the video showed “senseless brutality”.
- PETA and our international affiliates are continuing to raise awareness of how animals are harmed for the sake of fashion, food and other industries – and to help people make kinder choices.
What You Can Do
- If you haven’t already, watch and share the investigation videos.
- Send a message to J.Crew and Ralph Lauren asking them to ditch wool.
- Consider sheep when you’re out shopping by checking the label and avoiding items made from their wool.
Images: Jo-Anne McArthur / weanimals.org