Historic First: Alpaca Shearers Face Cruelty Charges After PETA US Exposé

Azángaro, Peru – After a PETA US undercover investigation into Mallkini – the world’s largest privately owned alpaca farm, near Muñani – revealed that alpacas were cut up and left with bloody wounds, which were sewn up without adequate pain relief, among other violent abuses, the Policía Nacional del Perú charged five shearers with cruelty to domestic animals, a historic first in the alpaca industry.

PETA US, which submitted a formal complaint to the Peruvian police, revealed that workers at Mallkini held struggling, crying alpacas by the ears as they were roughly shorn with electric clippers, causing some to vomit out of fear. Workers slammed the animals, including some who were pregnant, onto tables, tied them to a medieval-looking restraining device, and pulled their legs so hard that they nearly wrenched them out of their sockets. The quick, rough shearing left the alpacas – who are prey animals and therefore terrified of being pinned down – cut up and bleeding.

“This historic case holds this violent industry accountable for its abuse of animals,” says PETA Vice President for Europe Mimi Bekhechi. “PETA reminds consumers that cruelty is pervasive in any industry that uses animal skins and urges everyone never to purchase alpaca wool.”

In addition to causing alpacas immense suffering, the production of alpaca wool is also terrible for the planet. The Higg Materials Sustainability Index ranked alpaca wool as the second most environmentally damaging material after silk, noting that it’s six times as harmful as polyester and more than four times as damaging as modal, viscose, rayon, lyocell, acrylic, and other vegan materials.

In response to the PETA US investigation, dozens of major retailers have banned alpaca wool, including Columbia, Esprit, UGG, UNIQLO, Valentino, and Victoria’s Secret. The group is now calling on Anthropologie to follow suit.

The defendants’ trial is scheduled for 22 July before the Superior Court of Justice of Puno in Azángaro.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk or follow the group on X, Facebook, TikTok, or Instagram.


Sascha Camilli +44 (0) 20 7923 6244; [email protected]