Australian Wool Industry Continues to Abuse Sheep

A disturbing PETA video exposé of the Australian wool industry—the world’s top wool exporter—confirms what we’ve already known for a long time: workers beat, stomp on, kick, cut, mutilate, and throw sheep around.

Sheep shearers in Australia violently punched these gentle animals in the face and beat and jabbed them in the head with shears. These attacks often left the terrified sheep bleeding from the eyes, nose, and mouth.

Workers Stood on the Necks of Panicked Sheep

The eyewitness saw cruelty in every one of the four Australian sheds visited across New South Wales and Victoria—Australia’s top wool-producing states.

When the sheep panicked while they were being pinned down, the shearers stomped on them and stood on their heads and necks. They threw the defenseless, fearful sheep around and slammed their heads and bodies into the floors.

Many Workers Take Drugs to Shear Even Faster

Shearers are often paid by how much wool they collect, not by the hour. That means they’re encouraged to be fast, and can recklessly cut off large chunks of the animals’ skin. Many workers take illegal drugs to help them work even faster.

When workers were finished shearing, they shoved these sensitive animals into chutes like garbage bags. The eyewitness saw one worker lift up a sheep by the leg, stomp on her head, knee her, and then throw her into a chute.

Gaping Wounds Sewed Up Without Pain Relief

Workers didn’t give sheep any pain relief before piercing their flesh with needle and thread to try to sew up gaping, bloody wounds caused by shearing. The investigators never saw injured sheep receive any veterinary care.

This Is Standard in the Wool Industry

PETA already exposed rampant cruelty in shearing sheds across Australia in 2014. That video evidence resulted in the first ever cruelty charges against shearers, and the wool industry itself said that the abuse must stop immediately. But here we are three years later, and gentle sheep are still being viciously abused by shearers.

You Can Help Stop This!

The best thing you can do for sheep is refuse to buy wool. It’s so easy to check labels before you buy. If an item’s tag says “wool,” leave it on the shelf and keep it moving. That’s all you have to do.