Back in 2014, PETA exposed extreme abuse of sheep in Australia, and six shearers pleaded guilty. The wool industry called that case a “wake-up call” that had forever changed it. But just days before those claims of reform, another eyewitness was inside the sheds seeing exactly the same abuse as before. In December 2017, the wool industry again condemned such cruelty, and again, it vowed that it and the shearers would do better.
But nothing has changed.
In late 2017, another eyewitness went inside 16 shearing sheds in South Australia and Victoria, documenting the same sickening treatment of sheep that PETA has exposed again and again.
Again, workers struck petrified sheep in the face with sharp metal clippers. They cut them up and stitched up their gaping wounds without any pain relief. And they threw them out of the sheds when they were finished with them.
Based on this evidence, Victoria officials have filed cruelty-to-animals charges and a shearer pleaded guilty. Officials in South Australia have opened a criminal investigation into the abuse documented there.
What More Do You Need to See to Stop Wearing Wool?
Over and over again, PETA has exposed the global wool industry’s systemic, pervasive cruelty to sheep.
Shearers still beat and jabbed gentle, docile sheep with sharp metal clippers and in the eyes, causing them to panic. They still punched them, slammed their heads into the floor, stamped and stood on their necks, and hurled them out of the sheds.
The hurried, rough shearing left countless sheep cut and bleeding. Shearers didn’t give them any anaesthetics before crudely sewing up their worst wounds with a needle and thread. Workers cut large swathes of sheep’s skin off with the fleece and called sheep “cunt” and “slut”. One shearer told a lamb that he would “shove [the shearing clippers] up [his or her] [ass]”.
This is PETA’s fifth exposé of the Australian sheep-shearing industry, revealing cruelty to sheep at a total of 43 farms across Victoria, South Australia, and New South Wales.
'Responsible' and 'Sustainable' Wool Isn't What You Think It Is
PETA and its international affiliates have documented cruelty to sheep at dozens of farms around the world – including in Argentina, where an eyewitness saw workers hack into fully conscious lambs and start to skin some of them while they were still alive and kicking. This took place on a farm in the Ovis 21 network – Patagonia’s wool supplier at the time.
Shearers Convicted on Historic Cruelty Charges – Another Breaks a Sheep's Neck, Killing Her
PETA’s first, groundbreaking international wool industry exposé revealed that shearers in Australia violently punched these gentle animals in the face and beat them over the head with sharp metal clippers and even a hammer. These attacks left the petrified sheep bleeding from the eyes, nose, and mouth. Officials charged six shearers with 70 counts of cruelty to animals, the first-ever charges anywhere in the world against wool-industry workers for abusing sheep. All six pleaded guilty.
It’s no better for sheep in the United States, where an eyewitness documented abuse and neglect of sheep at 14 ranches across Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming. One shearer repeatedly twisted and bent a sheep’s neck until it broke. After the worker kicked the sheep head-first down a chute, PETA’s eyewitness found her dead. The shearer bent, twisted, and threw his bodyweight on dozens of sheep’s necks and forelimbs and poked his fingers into their eyes. See for yourself:
The Wool Industry Gets Many 'Wake-Up Calls' – and Ignores Them All
The Australian wool industry called PETA US’ groundbreaking 2013–2014 case a “wake-up call” that had forever changed it. But clearly, it hadn’t. In 2015, an eyewitness working on a farm in South Australia saw a supervisor slamming a lamb against the floor and throwing the young animal into a paddock to die. One worker kicked a sheep in the face; said to the animal, “You lay down again, you cunt, I’ll kill you”; and jammed his finger into the anuses of two other sheep to drive them up a ramp to the shearing stand.
Just as the Australian wool industry was again claiming to have made reforms, in early 2017, another eyewitness was inside sheds in Victoria and New South Wales seeing exactly the same abuse as before. Workers punched, kicked, and mutilated sheep and threw them down chutes like bags of rubbish. The cruelty was as severe as ever.
In 2018, an eyewitness in Victoria and found the farm manager and workers mutilating terrified lambs in assembly line fashion. Then, an eyewitness in New South Wales and found that workers struck the gentle, frightened sheep in the face with sharp metal clippers.
More Lambs Mutilated and More Sheep Skinned Alive in South America
Another 2015 PETA exposé of yet another farm in Argentina revealed that workers cut off parts of lambs’ ears, put tight rings around their scrotums, and cut off their tails – all without any pain relief.
In 2016, a PETA video exposé of two massive sheep farms in Chile revealed that gentle sheep who were no longer considered useful were mutilated and then killed and skinned – sometimes while still alive. Workers stabbed fully conscious sheep in the neck, causing them to kick and struggle as they bled to death.
Pregnant Sheep Cut and Whipped for Another Patagonia-Approved Wool Producer
After PETA’s 2015 video exposé showing workers for Patagonia’s previous so-called “sustainable wool” supplier hacking into fully conscious sheep and starting to skin some of them while they were still alive and kicking, the outdoor clothing brand severed ties with the farms. In early 2017, PETA US observers visited a massive sheep-shearing operation in Utah where thousands of sheep from Red Pine Land & Livestock, LLC – which was listed on Patagonia’s website as an approved supplier – were shorn each year.
The necks of heavily pregnant sheep were twisted. They were yanked by their fleece and whipped. After they were shorn and had virtually no wool left to protect them from the elements, they were driven out into the desert and left there to give birth as temperatures dropped to as low as 0 degrees. Again, Patagonia dropped the supplier after seeing the investigation findings but didn’t stop selling wool.
Sheep Beaten, Cut, and Stamped on in the UK
In the summer of 2018, a PETA Asia investigation revealed routine abuse of sheep on 25 British farms visited by two shearing contractors. Workers punched gentle sheep in the face, struck them with metal clippers, stood on their necks, and slammed their heads into the floor.
One shearer shouted at a panicked sheep, “Cut your fucking throat!”
Please Help Stop This
Look in your closet. Are you still wearing wool? If you are, please stop, and make sure that you don’t have any wool in your home. What more do you need to see before you stop using this cruelly obtained material?
Help prevent thousands of sheep from being beaten, cut open, kicked, and thrown down chutes.
Please also urge Forever 21 to stop selling wool:Take Action Now