Urban Outfitters Under Fire After PETA Wool-Industry Exposé

Workers Now Under Investigation After Being Filmed Kicking, Punching, and Cutting Sheep

For Immediate Release:
December 17, 2020

Moira Colley 202-483-7382


With the holiday season underway, PETA is releasing brand-new footage from a PETA Asia investigation showing violence against sheep in Australia’s wool industry—which produces 88% of the world’s supply for apparel—and urging people to cut wool gifts from their shopping lists.

One shearer stood on a sheep’s neck and punched two others in the face, a supervisor kicked two sheep, and shearers cut swaths of skin off some sheep and left many others with bleeding wounds. One shearer didn’t give a sheep any anesthetics before trying to sew up a gaping wound with an evidently blunt needle. In another incident, a shearer cut into a heavily pregnant sheep’s vaginal prolapse and used her wool to wipe her blood off the floor. When PETA Asia’s investigator took her to a veterinarian, they discovered that she had been trying to deliver a lamb, who was stillborn, and she had to be euthanized.

PETA is pointing the finger at Urban Outfitters, Inc., because it sells Australian wool and is pressing the company to stop selling it and other animal-derived materials across its brands, which include Anthropologie, Free People, and Urban Outfitters.

“Every wool sweater or scarf for sale at Urban Outfitters represents a gentle sheep who was kicked, punched, or left in a pool of her own blood on a shearing shed floor,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “This holiday season, PETA is urging Urban Outfitters to give some peace to these tormented animals by switching entirely to the stylish vegan designs that it already sells.”

The investigator also documented workers discussing other shearers who had broken a lamb’s leg, cut sheep, and gouged their eyes. One shearer still employed by the crew allegedly bit a sheep’s ear off in anger. As a result of PETA Asia’s findings, Victoria officials have opened an investigation. This is the sixth exposé of the Australian shearing industry and the 14th exposé of the global wool industry from PETA and its international affiliates, which have now found cruelty to sheep on 117 properties in six countries on four continents.

Photos are available here, and broadcast-quality footage is available here.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram.

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