For sheep in the wool industry, shearing is more than a haircut. Video footage from within dozens of shearing sheds on three continents shows that workers violently punched terrified sheep in the face, stomped and stood on the animals’ heads and necks, threw them, cut them, and beat them on the head with sharp metal clippers. Afterward, workers threw them down chutes like garbage. Some sheep died from the abuse.

PETA’s most recent exposé is the seventh one that we’ve released, and it shows more of the same cruelty. The attacks often left the petrified sheep bleeding from the eyes, nose, and mouth. When they panicked, the shearers stomped on them and stood on their heads and necks. They threw the gentle animals around and slammed their heads and bodies against the floor.

Why Does This Happen?

Shearers are often paid by the amount of wool they shear rather than by the hour. This encourages fast, reckless work that can cause severe injuries to the sheep, including large swaths of skin being cut off. Australian media outlets have documented that many workers also take illegal drugs to help them work even faster.

Workers didn’t even give sheep any painkillers before using a needle and thread to try to sew up the gaping, bloody wounds caused by shearing. The latest eyewitness visited four sheds across Australia’s top wool-producing states and never once saw injured sheep provided with any veterinary care.

Not an ‘Isolated Incident’

After PETA first exposed rampant cruelty to sheep across Australia in 2014, the video evidence resulted in cruelty-to-animals convictions against shearers. The wool industry assured the public that such abuse would no longer be tolerated. But as this recent exposé shows, absolutely nothing has changed for sheep and the cruelty is as severe as ever.

Of course, on some small hobby farms, farmers treat their sheep nicely and would never kick or punch them. But we’re talking about the commercial wool industry, and after visiting dozens of shearing sheds in multiple countries over five years, it’s safe to say that this abuse isn’t “isolated.”

Cruelty to sheep is rampant in the wool industry, no matter where it comes from or what assurances the companies and industry groups give. There’s simply no way to know how the sheep whose wool was used to make a coat or sweater were treated. Is it really worth taking a chance that you’re supporting cruelty when you can easily choose to buy a different material?

Expectation Photo: ©iStock.com / bbbrrm 

You Can Help Sheep! Ask Forever 21 to Stop Selling Wool

Helping sheep is so easy: All you have to do is check the label before you buy something. If it says “wool,” “leather,” “angora,” or “fur,” put it back on the rack!

We’re calling on Forever 21 to do the right thing and stop selling wool. The company has done awesome things for animals in the past, and we know that it listens to what’s important to its customers. The clothing retailer already has so many animal-friendly clothing options, like vegan leather boots and bags and faux-fur coats and accessories. So why not go one step further to make it easy for customers to shop without harming animals?

Text KICK to 73822 to let Forever 21 know that you want it to ditch wool!wool cruelty forever 21