Kingston: Blindfolded Activists Protest Against Benetton Over Atrocities To Sheep

Action Part of Hundreds Worldwide in PETA’s ‘Month of Action’ to Stop Retailer Using Australian Wool Until Mutilation and Live Export End

For Immediate Release:
11 March 2005

Jodi Ruckley 020 7357 9229, ext. 234

Kingston-upon-Thames – Wearing blindfolds and carrying signs reading, “Benetton: Blind to Animal Suffering”, members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) will gather outside Benetton’s store in Kingston to give potential customers leaflets showing horrific abuse of lambs and sheep by Australia’s wool industry. The action is part of an intense international campaign to urge the retail chain to stop selling garments made with Australian wool until a gruesome procedure called “mulesing” (live flaying) and live sheep exports are banned:

Date: Saturday, 12 March
Time: 12 noon sharp
Place: Benetton, 2/2A Clarence Street, Kingston upon Thames

“Mulesing” is a crude mutilation in which Australian farmers use gardening shears to carve flesh from lambs’ backsides without painkillers as a cheap way to try to reduce maggot infestation, even though more sophisticated, humane control methods exist. When their wool is no longer needed, millions of sheep are shipped to the Middle East through all weather extremes aboard open-deck, multi-tiered ships. Many sick and injured sheep, treated as mere cargo, are thrown overboard or ground up alive in mincing machines. The survivors of this gruelling voyage have their throats slit while they are still fully conscious.

After years of asking the Australian government to end these atrocities, PETA US announced an international boycott of Australian wool in October 2004 and has already won the support of prestigious retailers Abercrombie & Fitch in the US, and George and New Look in the UK.

“The ‘united colours’ of Benetton are turning to blood red,” says PETA Europe Campaign Coordinator Jodi Ruckley. “If Benetton wants to wipe the blood of millions of sheep off its hands, it must refuse to sell clothes made from Australian wool.”

PETA is urging consumers to boycott Benetton until it pledges to stop using Australian wool and is bombarding Benetton with ads and protests around the world to alert the public to the company’s support of cruelty. For more information, please visit