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December 1, 2023

Animal abusers: you’re being watched

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Ashley Fruno, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Australia

Dear Editor,

 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.


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  1. PETA’s warning is valid and well taken – nobody should abuse animals. Perpetrators should also be aware that any incident no matter how isolated, will be taken up by PETA and its supporters, and generalized across your industry, regardless of the protests or lack of evidence to support such generalizations. Miscreants should also note the references to “Cell phone cameras” – I thought we called them mobiles, I wonder who wrote this stuff and where. If you do do some evil deed with animals shame on you but note too that about 15 seconds of grainy video will go viral, and it will be repeated especially on the ABC, adding to the impression that the abuse in the industry or in the country where it happened is endemic, so causing otherwise sensible governments to have to close down your industry, and putting hundreds of your co-workers out of a job. take care you do not hurt animals and remember what Ashley has written : the eyes of justice are upon you – and you will be hauled through the kangaroo court of public opinion that PETA and its supporters so ably convene, and it will be to the detriment of you, your colleagues your industry and your country.


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