Cruelty in Shearing Sheds

Recently, PETA produced video footage of horrendous acts of cruelty in woolsheds around Australia. We thought we should respond to this with some of our own experiences of spending quite a bit of time in various sheds over the years.

Firstly, we’ve never seen anything like the cruelty in the video. Shearers who hurt sheep are considered not to be any good and are kicked out of the shed, not invited back, and very quickly gain a reputation such that noone will employ them. A spokesperson for PETA suggested that because shearers are paid by the sheep, there is an incentive to be rough and cruel to get the job done quickly, but all shearers know that a sheep is shorn much more quickly if you are gentle with them. When they are tense they are harder to roll into position and keep there. If you have to stop and stitch up a cut, then you are losing time you could be spending shearing another. The monetary argument just doesn’t make sense.

There is a video of one of the shearers we employ in a previous post http://highsteaksfarming.com.au/shearing/.

It’s simply not in the interests of the shearer, the manager or the sheep owner to have sheep hurt or stressed. All wool growers we know are very strict on who they allow into their sheds and watch very closely how things are done. The fact is that good animal welfare goes hand in hand with production – if welfare suffers, production declines.


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