New Video Shows Wool Industry Workers Killing, Punching, Stamping On Sheep

For Immediate Release:
9 July 2014

Hannah Levitt +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 235; [email protected]

New Video Shows Wool Industry Workers Killing, Punching, Stamping on Sheep

PETA US Releases Footage Shot Secretly at Farms and Shearing Sheds in US and Australia From First Undercover Investigation of Its Kind

London – PETA US’ brand-new exposé of the wool industry in the US and Australia – the source of 90 per cent of merino wool in the world – shows workers violently punching scared sheep in the face, stamping and standing on the animals’ heads and necks and beating and jabbing them in the face with electric clippers and a hammer. Some sheep even died from the abuse, including one whose neck was twisted until the animal died. Investigators also documented that large, bloody wounds were left on the sheep’s bodies and that workers stitched gaping wounds closed using a needle and thread without administering any pain relief.

The video highlights just some of the cruelty observed by investigators at each of the 19 shearing sheds visited in Australia and at 14 US farms in Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska. In one incident in Colorado, a shearer who was muttering, “F***”, over and over killed a sheep by repeatedly twisting, severely bending and breaking her neck. As he kicked the dying animal head-first down a chute, he said, “I might have killed it”. He admitted that he had previously injured another sheep by bending the animal’s neck back, excusing himself with the words, “I get angry”.

“Sheep are gentle prey animals who are petrified of even being held down, yet these sheep were punched in the face, kicked and stamped on and had their heads slammed into the floor by unsupervised, impatient shearers, causing them great distress, injury and even death”, says PETA UK Associate Director Mimi Bekhechi. “PETA is calling on shoppers around the world to reject cruelty to animals – and that means never buying wool.”

PETA is sending the video to UK retailers that sell wool, with a unique appeal to them to end their sale of wool products, citing the abuse of sheep during shearing, live export and mulesing (flaying of live lambs) as three reasons to avoid wool.

PETA US has asked state and local law-enforcement agencies to investigate and file criminal charges against the workers, as appropriate, for what are believed to be violations of cruelty-to-animals laws.

Photographs from the investigations are available here. Broadcast-quality video footage from the US investigation is available here, and broadcast-quality video footage from the Australian investigations is available here.

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