Newly Released Video of Wyoming Wool Industry Abuse Reveals State’s Total Disregard for Animal Suffering

PETA Calls Out Wyoming Officials for Failure to Investigate, Charge Workers Who Stood on Sheep as Well as Ranchers Who Left Animal to Die

For Immediate Release:
June 17, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

Cheyenne, Wyo. – It was a year ago this month that PETA met with the Wyoming Livestock Board (WLSB) and provided the agency with documentation of illegal cruelty to animals in the Wyoming wool industry—including that shearers stomped and stood on sheep’s heads and necks and stitched up the animals’ gaping wounds with no pain relief and that ranchers left an obviously ill and/or injured ram to die overnight. But so far, officials in Wyoming—the state with the fifth-worst animal-protection laws in the U.S., according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund—still haven’t taken any action concerning the cruelty to animals caught on camera. This has prompted PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—to release Wyoming-specific footage and public records that expose officials’ negligence and to renew its call for officials to investigate the abuse.

After meeting with PETA on June 18, 2014, the WLSB vowed to share the evidence with local law-enforcement officials. But it took no action for more than two weeks—and only sent some of the information to some local officials after PETA announced its intention to release the video footage. Local agencies’ response to the evidence has been equally lacking. Weston County Sheriff’s Office records show that no investigation of cruelty was ever documented, and prosecutors in Johnson and Fremont counties have ignored PETA’s requests to clarify whether any investigations have occurred there. The last remaining hope for action in this case appears to be Sweetwater County Attorney Dan Erramouspe, who is reviewing PETA’s findings, including video footage of a ram who was left to bleed heavily from a shearing wound on his genitals.

“The video footage showing that Wyoming wool industry workers illegally abuse sheep is shocking,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is calling on Wyoming officials to show that stomping on sheep and leaving them to die must be punished, not receive the state’s stamp of approval.”

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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