Bloody and Whipped Sheep: Patagonia’s ‘Wool Standard’ Comes Under Attack

PETA Video Shows Rotting Lamb Carcass, Sheep Skeletons at Patagonia-Vetted Ranchers' Shearing Operation, yet Company Has No Complaints

For Immediate Release:
July 13, 2017

Contact:
Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Ventura, Calif. – PETA has obtained disturbing video and photographic evidence of workers roughly handling sheep at a Utah sheep-shearing operation used by Red Pine Land & Livestock, LLC, which global clothing company Patagonia lauded on its website—until it received PETA’s letter on Wednesday—as “excellent partners” in holding up its “rigorous criteria.” The treatment clearly violates numerous provisions of the so-called “Responsible Wool Standard”—which Patagonia has adopted—and the Patagonia Wool Standard, the company’s in-house criteria for its wool suppliers. The farm has now dropped its contract with Patagonia in a dispute that, shamefully, has nothing to do with the conditions under which the sheep are housed and handled.

As PETA notes in a letter sent to Patagonia, the April footage shows heavily pregnant sheep being dragged by their fleece into a trailer and dropped onto its hard floor. They were sheared so quickly that most were left with bloody wounds—up to 5 inches long—near their anuses and on their udders, ears, necks, and torsos. Sheep were also filmed stumbling down ramps and being whipped on their heads, backs, and hindquarters. Just-shorn sheep—who experts say are prone to hypothermia—were driven into the desert, where temperatures dropped to 32 degrees, to give birth overnight. A lamb’s carcass rotted in a shed, while sheep skeletons and shotgun shells were strewn on the grounds.

“Despite all its lip service about animal welfare, Patagonia apparently approved a wool supplier that has allowed sheep to be whipped in the head and left bloody from shearing,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “It’s clearer than ever that no wool ‘standard’ can protect sheep from harm, which is why PETA is calling on Patagonia to drop all wool suppliers and stock exclusively cruelty-free fabrics.”

Prior to purchasing wool from Red Pine, Patagonia obtained it from the Ovis 21 network, until PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—released a 2015 exposé revealing that sheep were skinned alive on a network farm. PETA has now released seven exposés recorded at 40 facilities on three continents revealing that sheep are beaten, kicked, punched, and mutilated in the wool industry. Shearers are often paid by volume, not by the hour, which encourages fast, violent work that can lead to gaping wounds on sheep’s bodies. The wounds are then stitched closed—without giving the animals any painkillers.

Broadcast-quality footage and photographs are available for download upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind