Animal rights group PETA has allegedly released footage showing sheep being beaten and left bloodied by shearers in NSW and Victorian woolsheds.
The videos and images were allegedly recorded at four sheds in January and February this year, and a PETA spokesperson said the footage was damning.
‘‘It’s obvious to anyone who watches this new footage that despite claims of improvement and better welfare standards, the wool industry still has a pervasive culture of cruelty,’’ the spokesperson said.
‘‘PETA is a vegan advocacy organisation and believes animals are not ours to use in any way, and this includes exploiting sheep for their wool.
‘‘In the wool industry, sheep are treated as commodities, instead of as individuals, so profit will always be prioritised over their welfare.
‘‘The offenders in this footage are only part of a much larger problem whereby all those in the industry — whether they are managers, farmers or other shearers — turn a blind eye to abuse.
‘‘Industry groups do not take the issue seriously. They express fake surprise every time our exposés come out, but privately, people in the industry reveal how extensive the problem is.’’
The spokesperson said the RSPCA in NSW and Agriculture Victoria had been alerted to the cases after filming finished.
‘‘Agriculture Victoria was provided with footage for investigation that related to a single property in Victoria recorded in February 2017,’’ an Agriculture Victoria spokesperson said.
‘‘Investigation of the footage on this single property found no Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 breaches.
‘‘Discussions were held with the farmer and the shearing contractor, however, regarding best practice shearing technique.
‘‘This investigation was separate to the Victorian investigation conducted into shearing practices in 2013, which resulted in seven shearers being referred for prosecution in 2016.’’