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16 Things You Need to Know About Wool


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.
  • Amy says:

    No clothing is worth the suffering of these poor animals

  • Susan Herman says:

    My father raised sheep in northern Wis. When the sheep needing shearing, he called in a shearing team. They were fast but not a drop of blood was spared. Let’s bring sheep back to America and then we can put the farms under the old federal EYE. As far as Australia and New Zealand remember they were settled by prisoners cast off from England. This is something that needs to be taken up by the United Nations. I don’t like Merino and can’t afford wool so no danger from me! Good Luck with your efforts.l

  • jdtaurus56 says:

    It is totally cruel to use an animal for there hide fur, etc!!

  • veronika says:

    the same thing to do them..
    i don t wanna beleive…
    why people are u so sick for the money and u do everything for it…

  • Ros says:

    So what’s the alternative? Oh,yes the products of the petrochemical industry! damned if we do, damned if we don’t 🙁

  • Ramon mario Gonzalez says:

    This is inhumane and cruel yo sheeps,You should make a Petition
    to the President or First Minister of Australia on favor of sheeps
    so this can stop ,we can sign the letter.

  • Alma Kovacevic says:

    What is their sin???

  • Lisa B says:

    Yet another shocking thing to learn. I always thought the lamb was slaughtered humanely for meat then skin used for other uses once dead. Wasn’t aware of this terrible treatment. Sickening I wont be buying anything sheepskin anymore but synthetic all the way>

  • diez says:

    stop is cruel!!!!!!you are the monster ????????

  • Yvonne Kitchin says:

    These cruel and heartless practices on animals that cannot protect themselves must STOP.

  • Ariel says:

    Okay, now that’s just sad.

  • Nadz says:

    This is so disgusting. Had to scroll down quickly as I couldn’t bear the look on the defenceless animal faces. The human race should be ashamed of themselves. Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy be this cruel?

  • susan adams says:

    I am truly shocked to tears! No more wool for me. Ever again.

  • nozomi hosono says:

    It is that sheep without a crime suited such an eye. — Help sheep!

  • Cat says:

    The next time you look at a kitty or a dog think of the thousands that are in China being slaughtered for their skins and oh what a delicacy dog and cat food is. Plus they are most of the time slaughtered with no pain killers.

  • Corinne says:

    Wow I had no idea this happened. I will now think before I buy anything wool.
    Thank you for opening my eyes to this.

  • Neville says:

    I strongly disapprove of live sheep shipments to the middle east. Here in New Zealand I believe that live sheep shipments have ceased. I can say that shearing of sheep is done by professionals who are very good at their profession, they have to be to stay in business. I have never seen or heard of the term mulesing and don’t believe it is used in New Zealand. Each sheep/lamb has a dollar value to the farmer. Sure there will always be some losses but remember each sheep/lamb that dies hits the farmer in the pocket. Plenty of incentive to be doing things right and looking after your stock. All cruel miss treatment of animals must stop.

  • ZoeA says:

    This is utterly disgusting and fowl behaviour for human greed, but not all farmers are like this and it is not true of all wool. Is you are willing to look around you will find the good ones who care for their animals. These are the ones that should be supported. Create a demand for ethical farming. There is nothing wrong with wanting a jumper made from wool. It is a natural fibre and once you’re done with it it will degrade back into the earth, unlike your plastic alternatives. Wool also last a lot longer and many people unravel jumpers and re-kint them. The chemicals used to make these wool alternatives are not good for the environment either: spilling out into the water systems and poisoning aquatic life and the animals that live nearby. There are always two sides to a coin. Don’t be afraid to ask the supplier where they get their wool from and how it is farmed. If they can’t answer, don’t buy. Do your research and support those that are doing good. Don’t tar everyone with the same stick and don’t assume that just because it came from an animal that it is bad.

  • Linda says:

    This is just appalling. Australia, New Zealand and any other country who dares to treat any of our creatures in this despicable manner should be utterly ashamed of themselves. There must be laws introduced worldwide to put a stop to this horrific treatment of livestock. When will man learn to respect all life and not abuse, betray or inflict unnecessary torture on any living creature? This has to be STOPPED!

  • sheri costas says:

    I had no idea about this horrific way of life for these poor animals.Are there not inspectors like the RSPCA in Oz?

  • Sophie Verstegen-Lambell says:

    I will never purchase new wool or woolen products from anywhere other than the UK again! This is partially the way to stop this level or pure ignorance, greed and evil. Ranch farmers were never really known for their intelligence and caring behaviour but this pushes it to another height. Any mass production of anything on Earth is now being exposed as malfunctioning greedy, and usually completely cruel. I hope all other readers spread the word – only through education of the unaware public, can we stop this intensely disgusting and hideous practice!

  • Sophie says:

    Sheep are not a resource, they are an animal, they are only deemed a resource because we as humans, also animals, have decided that for them, just like we have for all the other animals we cruelly use and abuse. This type of unnecessary harm and death needs to be stopped!!

  • Human says:

    The human race is a virus of this planet. Causing nothing but pain and destruction to its nature and other living creatures.
    Sooner or later it will dispose of us…

  • Arlindan Kay says:

    As we destroy nature we destroy ourselves, and we are on a race to the bottom. Unheard they cry, unseen they suffer, in agony they linger, in lonliness they die.

  • Linda Cook says:

    Absolutely disgusting!!! No one has the right to do this to these poor defenseless animals. These animals dont have voices to scream out so thank you PETA for being the voice for these animals. This has to stop NOW!!!

  • Hardik Vora says:

    Its really horrifying to just read the matter, let alone glancing at the image. I wonder what those helpless creatures might be going through. God help them….

  • Leslie Cochrane says:

    I was on a sheep station in the Outback around 1978. They were doing “crutching” at the time – which I assume is the same thing as mulesing. It was to clear the parasites from around the eyes and rear. The sheep were immobilized by “flipping” them into a sitting position, shaved in those areas with an electric razor, then sent down a chute, back to the pens. The sheep were frightened, of course, since they aren’t used to being handled – and there were nicks and cuts – but I never saw anything the likes of the photos presented above. Either things have really changed – or because the station I was on was a much smaller one, they didn’t have those horrific-looking holding pens. Can’t say the attitudes towards animals aside from the sheep weren’t any better though. Very cavalier and brutal – and trigger happy are those Outback Aussies. Wild goats and boars and kangaroos and wallabees – You name it, they shoot it. Sickening.

  • Jacqueline says:

    This is truly horrifying, i am so upset. Why oh why can we not treat our fellow creatures with respect and humane manner that they deserve. they have provided food and protection when we needed it. Now we dont need it, there are plenty of synthetic fabrics available, and healthy vegetarian food. Enough is enough. we must stop the carnage now, it is simply no longer justifiable.

  • Angie P. says:

    This cruelty has to stop, immediately!!!

  • René Orti says:

    No words, no bloody wool.

  • chander kumar soni says:

    i hate wool.

  • Rachel Smith says:

    Just like to add that New Zealand does not export any live animals, and muelsing is illegal here too. I would never buy Australian Merino wool because of muelsing.

  • kerry-miranda davies says:

    I’m veggie and have always been aware of the cruelty when it comes to fur but never knew about wool! Just presumed the sheep were not hurt in the process! This is shocking cruelty! I’m hoping uk wool isn’t this barbaric!

  • Ken Little says:

    Supporting the humane production of wool is a good way to curb inhumane practices. Can you provide a resource that will help shoppers purchase humane wool?

  • Christine says:

    I never realised about any of this cruelty. It has really made me think, and I am so ashamed now that I have worn wool for years, never thinking of how the sheep have suffered just for me to be warm. Surely in this 21st century we should be able to achieve a zero policy on the suffering of these noble animals. What sort of world do we live in when this sort of suffering is kept quiet and deemed to be acceptable?

  • Yes says:

    I can hardly believe this barbarity occurs in Australia. Shame on the industry. I shall nevr buy wool or eat lamb again.

  • Sierra says:

    Is there a good place to buy wool from?

  • Sam says:

    Brutalising animals is no better than doing the same to humans – these are inhumane and disgusting individuals that partake in this trade and business! Karma will return to you all!!!!!!!

  • Billie says:

    With the availability to manufacture products that look and feel like the “real thing”, there is absolutely NO
    excuse for purchasing any animal skin for the frivolous use of “Fashion”!

  • Kristel says:

    There is so much pain, cruelty & torture upon all of our beautiful animals in this world. I am physically ill and heart broken to learn of this torture that these beautiful sheep endure. We purchase Smart Wool socks and beanies. They do not use mulesing. I will need to investigate more on all of their practices. They use merino wool from New Zealand. Does anyone know if they are a humane & cruel free farm?
    Thank you PETA for Always looking out for the welfare of our beautiful fragile animals on this big blue planet.

  • Ryan1019 says:

    Well the wool industry is very lucrative of course because people demand sweaters and other things made from wool. As long as the demand is there, there will be suppliers willing to meet that demand which is great for the economy and our standard of living. No industry should be barred from simply providing for their consumers, they’re just sheep anyway, the only value they have is for their resources, nothing more

  • tracie charles says:

    This so disgusting, I cannot believe we allow people to do this. It has to stop!

  • Christine says:

    OMG,that is just terrible,how dare they do that to these gentle animals……just disgusting!!!!!!! These poor animals suffer for humans greed,oh hell no!!!!!!!!

  • Kelly says:

    I really had no idea! Thank you for educating us on this horrible treatment!

  • Merryla Fidler says:

    This is sooooooo ungrateful and cruel and sick. It has to stop now.

  • maria says:

    How can we know that the wool comes from australia ?

  • Bedhead says:

    I’m convinced. Never, ever, ever again will I purchase or wear wool.

  • Laura says:

    RECYCLE, 1st & foremost RECYCLE…do not allow things that have already been created/taken energy go to waste..Second hand stores, the Salvation Army, Good Will, any Thrift store, have wonderful beautiful, wool and real cashmere sweaters..I remember a small store in London, all they had was 2nd hand cashmere, lots of vintage, RE-USE..this planet does not need more discarded things piling up, why let these fine items go to waste…Also smaller wool farms, that cherish their sheep, alpacas, Kashmir goats, their investement would not be so horrificly uncaring about their animals/capital. Only companies that obviously have such a glut of animals the lose of one animal means nothing, as in anything KNOW your SOURCE, and BOYCOTT. But do not judge all, read for example:

  • Jocelyn Espinoza says:

    I had no idea of this industry, I am really schoking to find out this happening, so no more wool in my life, from now on I wont buy any product made of Wool.

  • S. Howerton says:

    I was shocked to learn this! It doesn’t surprise me that man does such terrible things to the lambs, as they do it to just about every living thing. Where is the government in all this and how can they allow this to happen. I don’t eat lamb and don’t wear wool but will make sure that all my friends know about this.