Nude Protesters Expose Benetton’S True Colours At Annual Shareholder Meeting

PETA Wants Retail Giant to Stop Supporting Australian Sheep Abuse

For Immediate Release:
13 May 2005

Jodi Ruckley +44 20 7357 9229, ext 234
Daniela Britta 06 23232569

Treviso, Italy – Members of PETA, clad only in a rainbow of paint colours – including splashes of blood-red – will gather outside the annual meeting of international clothing retailer Benetton to urge shareholders and company officials to stop using Australian wool until the industry ends two particularly cruel practices – mutilating lambs’ backsides in a procedure called “mulesing” and cramming live sheep onto “death ships” for gruelling journeys to the Middle East. The action is part of PETA’s international campaign against Australian wool:

Date:   Monday, 16 May
Time:   11 a.m.
Place:  Benetton annual meeting, Benetton headquarters, Villa Minelli, Ponzano

Mulesing is a painful mutilation in which Australian farmers slice chunks of skin and flesh from lambs’ backsides – without any painkillers – in a crude attempt to reduce maggot infestation, even though humane control methods exist. Every year, millions of Australian sheep are shipped to the Middle East through all weather extremes, mired in their own waste aboard open-decked ships. Sick and injured sheep are often thrown overboard or ground up alive in mincing machines. When the survivors reach the Middle East, their throats are slit while they are still conscious.

PETA’s international boycott of Australian wool has already won the positive response of prestigious US retailers Abercrombie & Fitch, J.Crew and Timberland and UK-based mega-chains New Look and George. Benetton, however, has failed to take action to stop the worst abuses of the sheep bred for its garments. PETA has been bombarding Benetton with ads and protests around the world.

“The ‘united colours’ of Benetton are all red with the blood of lambs flayed alive and old sheep thrown to the sharks”, says PETA Campaign Coordinator Matt Rice. “If Benetton wants to be known for understanding and compassion, it must stop selling clothes made from cruelly obtained Australian wool.”

For more information, please visit PETA’s Web site