Landmark Cruelty Charges In First-Ever Mohair Industry Exposé

Police Now Investigating Farmers, Shearers, and Other Workers After PETA Exposé Let Public See Severe Suffering, Mutilation, and Killing of Goats

For Immediate Release:
August 16, 2018

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Alberton, South Africa – Following a PETA video exposé, the National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) has filed cruelty-to-animals charges against four angora goat farmers. The South African Police Service must now investigate the farmers—along with shearers and farmworkers—and then submit the case to the national prosecutor.

PETA provided the NSPCA with video footage of workers dragging goats by the horns and legs and lifting them off the floor by the tail. The video also showed one worker slowly cutting the throats of fully conscious goats with a dull knife and then breaking their necks, as well as hacking off one animal’s head. Each of the alleged violations of South Africa’s Animals Protection Act, 1962, is punishable by up to one year in prison and/or a fine of R4,000 (approximately US$275).

“For the first time, charges have been filed against mohair-industry workers for cruelly handling and slowly killing panicked goats,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is calling on shoppers worldwide to reject cruelty to animals, and that includes never buying mohair, fleece, or fur.”

The exposé from PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—involved going inside 12 farms earlier this year. It revealed that angora goat kids cried out in fear and desperation as they were roughly handled and shorn. Shearers—who are paid by volume, not by the hour—left the animals cut up and bleeding, and workers roughly stitched them up without giving them any pain relief. Some goats were hauled to a slaughterhouse, where they were electrically shocked, hung upside down, and slashed across the throat.

Nearly 300 major retailers worldwide have banned mohair in response to PETA’s video exposé of the industry. These companies include Zara, Gap, Banana Republic, H&M, Topshop, Forever 21, UNIQLO, Anthropologie, Ralph Lauren, and Express, among others.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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