Historic First: Alpaca Shearers Face Cruelty Charges After PETA Exposé

For Immediate Release:
April 9, 2024

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Azángaro, Peru

After a PETA undercover investigation into Mallkini—the world’s largest privately owned alpaca farm, near Muñani—revealed that alpacas were cut up and left with bloody wounds, which were sewn up without adequate pain relief, among other violent abuses, the Policía Nacional del Perú charged five shearers with cruelty to domestic animals, a historic first in the alpaca industry.

Alpacas at Mallkini. Credit: PETA

PETA, which submitted a formal complaint to the Peruvian police, revealed that workers at Mallkini held struggling, crying alpacas by the ears as they were roughly shorn with electric clippers, causing some to vomit out of fear. Workers slammed the animals, including some who were pregnant, onto tables, tied them to a medieval-looking restraining device, and pulled their legs so hard that they nearly wrenched them out of their sockets. The quick, rough shearing left the alpacas—who are prey animals and therefore terrified of being pinned down—cut up and bleeding.

“These landmark charges send a message that the alpaca industry can no longer mutilate screaming, bleeding animals with impunity,” says PETA Vice President Daniel Paden. “PETA looks forward to these shearers being held accountable and urges consumers never to purchase alpaca wool.”

In addition to causing alpacas immense suffering, the production of alpaca wool is also terrible for the planet. The Higg Materials Sustainability Index ranked alpaca wool as the second most environmentally damaging material after silk, noting that it’s six times as harmful as polyester and more than four times as damaging as modal, viscose, rayon, lyocell, acrylic, and other vegan materials.

In response to PETA’s investigation, dozens of major retailers have banned alpaca wool, including Columbia, Esprit, Express, Lands’ End, REI, Talbots, Ann Taylor, UGG, UNIQLO, Valentino, Victoria’s Secret, and Vince. The group is now calling on Anthropologie to follow suit.

The defendants’ trial is scheduled for July 22 before the Superior Court of Justice of Puno in Azángaro.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on X, Facebook, or Instagram.

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