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16 Things You Need to Know Before Buying That Sweater

Written by Liam Cronin | September 25, 2013


1. About 25 percent of the world’s wool comes from Australia.

2. Young lambs’ ears are hole-punched, their tails are chopped off, and the males are castrated, all usually without anesthetics or pain relief.

3. It is considered “normal” in the Australian wool industry for approximately 3 million young lambs to die every spring.

4. Lambs sometimes die because of poor nutrition.

5. This wound is the result of a process called “mulesing,” and it’s standard practice in the industry.

6. During “mulesing,” workers carve huge strips of skin off the backs of lambs’ legs and around their tails.

Patty Mark/

7. Or workers attach vise-like clamps to their flesh until it dies and sloughs off.

8. In the rush to produce more wool, many sheep die from exposure after premature shearing.

9. An unnatural overload of wool also causes animals to die of heat exhaustion during hot months.

10. During shearing, sheep can sustain anything from nicks to complete amputations of their udders, ears, penises, and other body parts.

11. Eyewitness: “I have seen shearers punch sheep with their shears or their fists until the sheep’s nose bled. I have seen sheep with half their faces shorn off.”

12. During auction, the pens are crowded and sheep may die because of injuries or stress.

13. When sheep age and their wool production declines, they are sent to slaughter.

14. Millions of live sheep are shipped from Australia to the Middle East and North Africa every year.

15. A 2005 report stated that about 38,000 sheep died in transit. In most cases, their carcasses were thrown overboard.

16. In New Zealand, methane emissions from enteric fermentation, coming mostly from sheep, make up more than 90 percent of the nation’s greenhouse-gas emissions.

Don’t support an industry that treats sheep as disposable and not as the smart, sensitive, dignified animals they are. Sheep deserve better. Pledge never to wear wool now!

Commenting is closed.
  • Stephany says:

    I just can’t believe my eyes I never knew about this sort of thing going on!! In Australia where they always preach how environmentally friendly they are and all goody goody with their rules. I just cannot believe they would treat the sheep like this and the poor lambs! This cannot go on any more I can’t believe they don’t even use any precaution or care when they castrate them ….sickening! NEEDS TO END NOW!

  • Tracey mason says:

    I live in Scotland and have not seen any sheep treated like this, however, I’m not saying it might not exist. We have sheep on the farm next to us and they always look heathy and well fed. How can we be sure if we buy wool that it isn’t from Australia or New Zealand? I am shocked and sickened by the pictures in the article. Truly heartbreaking. I love sheep. How can anyone treat any living being like those poor sheep are being treated?

  • Stéphanie Marmillo says:

    We havé to stop this crueluty

  • Maria says:

    let’s not just talk about it, LET US DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, THIS HAS TO STOP..COME ON PPL THERE ARE ENOUGH OF US TO DO SOMETHING TO HELP THESE DEFENSELESS ANIMALS, THEY WERE NOT PUT ON THIS EARTH FOR THIS…The core of my entire soul cries for them, I cry myself to sleep at nite and pray to God for there lives, and mercy…

  • Carol Lobel says:

    I am appalled at Australian treatment of Lambs. There is no way I will EVER buy wool again. I had already stopped eating lamb this year. Peta needs to start a campaign in Australia against this abuse of lambs and sheep. People can be so cruel.

  • Andrew Balazs says:

    I will never buy wool again!!! God curse those barbaric sheep farmers!!!

  • Cally smith says:

    This is hideous and deeply upsetting. I thought wearing wool would be a more sustainable thing than wearing manmade fibres, so if my woolens come from Australia its a bloody disgrace. There should be someone regulating this surely……you will never make the whole world go veggie or vegan, although every convert is a great thing, it would be better i think to use as much of the animal as possible BUT WITH NO CRUELTY. IT IS POSSIBLE. these bastards need to go to hell and fast, someone has obviously filmed this so surely something MUST be done to STOP this apalling cruelty. These beautiful creatures deserve to live comfortable and pain free lives.

  • Sherry says:

    Pure Greed and it is Disgusting and will be stopped!

  • Jeannet Bertelink says:

    Heartbreaking…. They are a product, not a sheep I never wear wool.

  • gary says:

    I wish I could say that it’s unbelievable, but, sad to say, it’s not. Too many people are blind, often, as in this instance, willfully blind, to the fact that animals are conscious sentient beings. Industrial farming is good for no one, but it is especially bad for the animals.

  • Linda says:

    The cruelty that is displayed in these pictures are disgusting and uncalled for. There ARE farmers that shear the sheep properly and the sheep are cared for and treated right. They are precious animals. How can anyone treat those poor innocent sheep like that? All for what….money. The love of money is the root of all evil.

  • Carol Piazzo says:

    they should stop this

  • SCOTT LANE says:

    Someone wrote that sheep farmers want their “stock” to last as long as possible – as if all the pics PETA has documented don’t tell the REAL STORY of HUMAN CALLOUSNESS and GREED.