Misleading ‘Humane’ Claims by UGG Prompt Legal Warning From PETA

For Immediate Release:
November 20, 2023

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Santa Barbara, Calif. – In response to clothing brand UGG’s baseless assurances that the animals whose skin, down, and wool were used for its products were treated humanely—despite having no way to ensure that’s true—PETA sent the company a cease and desist letter demanding that the company remove the claims, giving it until December 1 to comply—or risk a complaint being filed with federal authorities by the group.

PETA’s letter outlines the following:

  • UGG’s website states that it never accepts hides that come “from animals who have been raised or slaughtered inhumanely” and that it ensures this by sourcing only hides that are “food industry by-products.” But it’s standard practice in the meat industry to castrate and cut off the tails of lambs and calves without painkillers, forcefully cram animals into trucks for transport to slaughter, and slit their throats.
  • UGG advertises that it sources its sheepskin from certain countries, including the U.S., because those countries regulate the treatment of animals—but there are no federal laws in the U.S. that regulate the care of animals on farms, and the few state laws that exist are filled with exemptions that allow rampant abuse.
  • UGG also brags about using down from facilities certified by the Responsible Down Standard (RDS), but PETA exposés on Vietnamese farms that sold “responsible” down revealed that geese were covered in gaping and bloody wounds and languished in sheds strewn with feces before they were stabbed in the neck and their feet were cut off while they were still conscious. One facility in Russia shown hacking off live birds’ heads with a dull axe didn’t even know that it was RDS-certified. The “responsible” down label also allows for many cruel industry standards—for example, it only recommends (it doesn’t require) that farms be clean enough to avoid a “strong ammonia smell.”

“PETA investigations have repeatedly shown the cruelty inherent in the wool, down, and leather industries, yet UGG is seemingly attempting to wash its hands of the suffering behind its products,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on UGG to stop misleading the public with deceptive marketing claims and urging consumers not to fall for humane washing tactics. The only humane option is vegan.”

A bloodied sheep’s body and neck are twisted while being sheared in Australia. Credit: PETA.  

Earlier this year, PETA sent cease and desist letters to retailers Quince and Naadam over similar “humane” claims—prompting both companies to remove them.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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