15 Things You Need to Know Before Buying That Sweater

Posted on by Ashley Fruno

1. About 25 percent of the world’s wool comes from Australia.

wool facts

2. Young lambs’ ears are hole-punched, their tails are chopped off, and the males are castrated, all often without anesthetics or pain relief.

sheep ear punched
3. It is considered “normal” in the Australian wool industry for approximately 3 million young lambs to die every spring.

lambs die
4. Lambs sometimes die because of poor nutrition.

5. This wound is the result of a process called “mulesing,” and it’s standard practice in the industry.


6. During “mulesing,” workers carve huge strips of skin off the backs of lambs’ legs and around their tails.


7. Or workers attach vise-like clamps to their flesh until it dies and sloughs off.
8. In the rush to produce more wool, sheep may die from exposure after premature shearing.

sheep die of exposure
9. An unnatural overload of wool also causes animals to die of heat exhaustion during hot months.
10. Eyewitness: “I have seen shearers punch sheep with their shears or their fists until the sheep’s nose bled. I have seen sheep with half their faces shorn off.”

sheep shearing

11. During auction, the pens are crowded and sheep may die because of injuries or stress.

sheep at auction
12. When sheep age and their wool production declines, they are sent to slaughter.

sheep slaughter
13. Millions of live sheep, including those previously raised for wool, are shipped from Australia to the Middle East and North Africa every year.

sheep sent to the middle east

14. The voyage is lethal for many animals—approximately 27,000 sheep died during live export in 2010 alone.

sheep die in transport

15. Nearly 50% of all of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions comes from the agricultural sector, which includes the wool industry.

Don’t support an industry that treats sheep as disposable and not as the smart, sensitive, dignified animals they are. Sheep deserve better. Pledge never to wear wool now!

Posted by Edwina Baier