Back in 2014, PETA exposed extreme cruelty to 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 cruelty that PETA has exposed again and again.
Workers still struck petrified sheep in the face with sharp metal clippers. They still cut them up and stitched up their gaping wounds without any pain relief. And they still threw them out of the sheds.
Based on this evidence, Victoria officials filed cruelty-to-animals charges and a shearer pleaded guilty. Officials in South Australia have opened a criminal investigation into the cruelty documented there.
Does this look better to you? Does it look like the industry has changed one bit?
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 hard wooden floor, stomped 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 anesthetics before crudely sewing up their worst wounds by pushing the needles right through their flesh. Workers cut large swaths of sheep’s skin off, which stuck to the fleeces. Shearers called sheep “cunt” and “slut.” One shearer told a lamb he would “shove [the shearing clippers] up your [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.
Shearers Convicted on Historic Cruelty Charges—Another Breaks a Sheep’s Neck, Killing Her
PETA’s first, groundbreaking international wool industry exposéfound shearers in Australia violently punching these gentle animals in the face and beating them in 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.
The Wool Industry Gets Many ‘Wake-Up Calls’—and Ignores Them All
The Australian wool industry called PETA’s groundbreaking 2013–2014 case a “wake-up call” that had forever changed it. But clearly, it wasn’t. In 2015, an eyewitness working at a farm in South Australia saw a supervisor slamming a lamb against a wooden floor and throwing the young animal in 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, mutilated, and threw sheep down chutes like garbage bags. The cruelty was as severe as ever.
In 2018, an eyewitness worked on a sheep farm 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.
Sheep Beaten, Cut, and Stomped on in England and Scotland
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!”
A PETA Asia eyewitness investigation of the Scottish wool industry documented that shearers punched terrified sheep, stomped on their necks, and threw them off shearing trailers.
Please Help Stop This!
Look in your dresser and closet. Are you still wearing wool? If you are, please stop. Now is the time to rid your home of wool. What more do you need to see before you stop wearing wool? How many more thousands of sheep need to be beaten, cut open, kicked, thrown down chutes, skinned alive, and killed via throat-slashing?
No matter where it comes from or what assurances companies give you, cruelty to sheep is rampant in the wool industry.