First-Ever Eyewitness Investigation of Mohair Industry Shows Workers Slowly Killing, Mutilating Crying Goats
For Immediate Release:
May 1, 2018
Audrey Shircliff 202-483-7382
San Francisco – A breaking PETA video exposé of the mohair industry in South Africa—the source of more than 50 percent of the world’s mohair—has prompted several top international retailers, including San Francisco–based Gap Inc., to ban mohair. The company will no longer source mohair products for its Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, or Athleta brands.
PETA’s eyewitness exposé, which is the first of its kind and encompasses 12 farms visited in January and February of this year, shows workers dragging goats by the horns and legs and lifting them off the floor by the tail, which could break their spines. Goat kids being shorn for the first time cried out in fear. Afterwards, workers threw them across the floor. PETA is asking law-enforcement agencies to investigate and file charges, as appropriate, for what the group believes are violations of South Africa’s Animals Protection Act, 1962.
“Baby goats were left screaming in pain and fear on the shearing floor, all for mohair sweaters and scarves,” says PETA Director of Corporate Affairs Anne Brainard. “PETA is urging shoppers to check clothing labels carefully and, if it says ‘mohair,’ leave it on the rack.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—notes that many goats’ sensitive ears were mutilated with pliers, which left them screaming in pain. Shearers—who are paid by volume, not by the hour—worked quickly and carelessly, leaving goats cut up and bleeding. Workers roughly stitched them up without giving them any pain relief.
Farmers admitted that after shearing, many goats die from exposure to the cold wind and rain—40,000 reportedly died of exposure across South Africa in just one weekend. Unwanted goats also died in agonizing ways: At one farm, a worker slowly cut the throats of fully conscious goats with a dull knife and then broke their necks, hacking one animal’s head right off. Other goats were hauled to a slaughterhouse, where they were electrically shocked, hung upside down, and slashed across the throat.
In addition to Gap Inc., Arcadia Group will no longer purchase mohair for any of its eight brands, which include Topshop. Inditex’s seven apparel brands, which include Zara, and H&M Group’s eight brands will be mohair-free by 2020.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.