People for The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has run a publicity stunt asking the village of Wool in Dorset to change its name to ‘Vegan Wool’ to raise awareness of cruelty to sheep during shearing or as PETA describe it ‘stealing the wool’.
Statements made by PETA
During an interview with PETA director Elisa Allen on GMTV the following statements were made: Sheep’s wool is stolen without their consent and sheep lived quite happily before humans invented the shearing process, growing just enough wool to keep warm in the winter and shedding it naturally in the summer!
These statements are obviously made by someone who doesn’t know what a modern commercial sheep breed is!
The sheep was one of the first animals domesticated by man, thought to be between 11000 and 9000 BC in ancient Mesopotamia from the Wild Mouflon. Today sheep are completely domesticated meaning they are largely reliant on man to ensure their survival. Whereas the wild ancestor may have been self shedding the majority of modern sheep breeds do not shed themselves.
If as proposed by PETA we left our sheep to care for themselves, they would be responsible for one of the biggest animal welfare tragedies in modern history! Not only could the sheep not fend for themselves but you would find many thousands of sheep being killed by fly strike. Fly strike is a condition where flies lay their eggs in the warmth of the sheep’s fleece. The maggots that hatch out then eat the flesh of the sheep eventually killing it.
Shearing the sheep is one of the main processes in avoiding fly strike, along with preventative chemical treatment and the expert care of the shepherd/farmer keeping the sheep in optimum health and closely monitoring at least twice daily.
I believe this publicity stunt has backfired ‘big time’. PETA have exposed themselves as a group that has unrealistic, idealistic views of livestock of which they have no knowledge whatsoever.
I am firmly against animal cruelty of any kind and know the majority of farmers in the UK are also against animal cruelty. Why would someone spend a lifetime raising a flock of sheep, spending vast amounts of money to keep them in peak condition, spend many sleepless nights caring for them, to then be cruel to them?
UK farmers have some the best welfare standards in the world, they are passionate and knowledgeable about what they do, working tirelessly to provide quality products for people around the world.
Want to support animal welfare? Then support British farmers
Anyone wanting to support animal welfare would find the best way to do this is to support the British farmer. Buy British meat and produce safe in the knowledge it has been reared/produced to the highest welfare standards anywhere in the world.
Please let me know your thoughts.