Animal rights organisation Peta is calling on businesses to stop selling wool after it uncovered abuse of sheep at shearing sheds and farms in Australia and the US.
Peta US has released footage it secretly filmed showing workers punching sheep in the face, stamping and standing on their heads and necks, and beating and jabbing them in the face with electric clippers and a hammer. Some sheep died as a result, including one whose neck was twisted until it died.
Abuse was uncovered at each of the 19 shearing sheds visited in Australia and at 14 US farms in Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska.
Peta UK associate director Mimi Bekhechi said: “Sheep are gentle prey animals that 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. We are calling on shoppers around the world to reject cruelty to animals – and that means never buying wool.”
The footage will be sent to UK retailers that sell wool, in hopes the abuse will encourage them to stop selling products containing it.
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 laws around cruelty to animals.
Last year Peta launched a campaign to stop retailers selling angora fur after it released harrowing videos of Chinese workers plucking fur from live rabbits and encouraged customers to boycott angora products. Asos, Whistles and Next were among those to stop selling angora fur as a result.