'Disturbing' Australian Wool Practices Revealed In New PETA Footage

The new video shows sheep being beaten and left bloodied by shearers
The new footage was branded as 'sickening' (Photo: PETA)

Animal rights organization PETA has released footage showing sheep being beaten and left bloodied by shearers in the Australian wool industry in a bid to initiate investigations by authorities.

The footage, branded 'sickening' by PETA and 'disturbing' by News.com.au, shows shearers violently punching and beating sheep with metal tools, leaving them unconscious.

It also documents wounds on sheeps being left untended, and shearers stitching cuts using needle and thread, supposedly without administering any pain relief.

A sheep being restrained while bleeding (Photo: PETA)

Video

The video was shot this year at four shearing sheds in Australia's top wool-producing states of New South Wales and Victoria.

It follows a 2014 investigation into the cruelty of the $3 billion Australian wool trade, which the industry previously labeled 'embarrassing' and a 'wake-up call'.

But the new video shows animals are still subjected to cruel practices.

'Distress'

PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk said in a statement that the sheep were in 'distress', and their welfare compromised - and urged everyone to boycott wool.

"Sheep are gentle animals who 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 the sheep great distress and injury," she said.

"PETA is calling on shoppers around the world to reject cruelty to animals - and that means never buying wool."

A sheep being dragged on the face (Photo: PETA)

'Inherently cruel'

A spokesperson for PETA, Laura Weyman-Jones, said the video footage had been passed onto the RSCPA in the New South Wales and Agriculture Victoria.

"I don't know whether it is a case of [shearers] not listening or the whole industry is inherently cruel.

"It's an industry that puts the profits of the industry before the welfare of animals.

"I think the general message here is that there is no way to produce humane wool.

"We just need to be looking into ways of producing and creating different fabrics that are cruelty-free animal-free fabrics."

Condemn

Australia Wool Innovation [AWI], the research and development organization for the wool industry, criticized activity shown in the video.

"AWI categorically and unequivocally condemns the mistreatment of animals and supports the use of the legal system to prosecute any criminal behaviour," a spokesman said.

"AWI welcomes the prosecution of anyone mistreating animals as has been the case in recent court cases."

A shearer's foot stamped on a sheep's neck (Photo: PETA)

'No breaches'

But according to an Agriculture Victoria spokesperson, investigation of the footage found no breaches.

"Agriculture Victoria was provided with footage for investigation that related to a single property in Victoria recorded in February 2017,’" they said.

"Investigation of the footage on this single property found no Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 breaches.

"Discussions were held with the farmer and the shearing contractor, however, regarding best practice shearing technique."

Warning: graphic content - you can watch the footage here

Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of Plant Based News delivered to your inbox weekly.
------

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

Reuse this content
PBN Contributor:

Diana is a London-based writer dedicated to bringing you the latest updates in ethical consumerism and plant-based nutrition. She is a recent media graduate with extensive journalistic experience, and writes in hopes of changing the narrative. You can follow Diana on Instagram and Twitter @dianalupica

(c) 2018 Plant Based News LTD. All Rights Reserved. Content must not be copied without permission.

Join the conversation

Since you're here...
Plant Based News is a FREE service that receives millions of views each week on YoutubeFacebookInstagramTwitterour weekly newsletter and this website. This takes a lot of our personal time, money and hard work. But we do it because we KNOW it makes a difference. If those following our reporting helped by contributing, we could do even more. Please consider supporting us so we can create further awareness about animal rights, environmentalism, ethical consumerism and the plant-based lifestyle. Not a false narrative - but information that empowers people to make better choices.

Support Plant Based News

It's World Vegan Day