For the first time ever, a Scottish wool farmer has pleaded guilty after being caught engaged in acts of flagrant cruelty to sheep following PETA’s investigation into Scotland’s wool industry.
The criminal charges against the farmer, William Martin Brown, were the result of a formal complaint and video evidence that PETA submitted to the Scottish Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after an eyewitness saw him viciously punch sheep in the face on his farm near Howgate in 2018. His actions can be seen here (he’s wearing a blue T-shirt):
This is a huge milestone—but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s routine in the wool industry to kick, beat, and stomp on sheep, but so far, only one person—out of countless wool-industry workers caught abusing and mistreating sheep at 24 shearing sheds across Scotland—has been charged with cruelty to animals. It’s imperative that this industry be reformed immediately.
The Scottish wool farmer’s conviction follows a case in Australia in which six wool shearers were charged with a combined 70 counts of cruelty to animals after PETA caught them abusing sheep in similar ways. All six pleaded guilty.
PETA and our international affiliates have now exposed cruelty to sheep at 100 wool-industry operations on four continents. The investigations revealed shocking abuse, including that workers beat, kicked, cut, and stomped on sheep and threw them down chutes like garbage bags.
Take Action Now
No matter where it’s sold, wool is the product of a cruel industry. The best way to help sheep like those seen in PETA’s video exposés is to refuse to buy wool.
It’s easy to check labels when you’re shopping. If they list wool, leave the items on the shelf.