Ashley Fruno, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Australia
Here’s a warning to anyone who works in an industry that uses animals: if you abuse animals or allow someone to do so, you will get caught.
Case in point: following last December’s historic guilty plea by an Australian shearer to allegations of cruelty to animals, four more shearers have just pleaded guilty to a total of 60 cruelty-to-animals charges. These landmark charges – the first ever filed against wool-industry workers – were the result of a PETA US investigation which documented that impatient workers violently punched sheep, beat and jabbed them in the head with sharp metal clippers, kicked them, poked their eyes, twisted their necks, and slammed them into the floor.
After the latest round of charges, Shearing Contractors’ Association of Australia Secretary Jason Letchford said, “We’re all shocked, upset and embarrassed as an industry. It’s been a wake-up call”. And rightly so. While it shouldn’t take an exposé like this one to get an industry to clean up its act, people who work in industries that use animals should know that someone’s always watching. Cell-phone cameras are everywhere, as are kind people ready to tip off PETA and other animal-protection groups if they see abuse.
PETA urges anyone who witnesses animal abuse to speak out. If you see something, say something: report abuse, cruelty or negligence. Consumers can make a significant difference, too. The only way to ensure that no animals suffer for our food and clothing choices is to choose vegan – and let animals live in peace.