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Cold hearts in bitter winter

Dear Editor,

With the weather bureau forecasting winds, rain and bitter cold for millions of Australians in the next few days, spare a thought for sheep being shorn during the bitterest part of winter. Across Australia, sheep are being left in open fields with little or no shelter.

Traditionally, many farmers have shorn in the autumn before winter and spring lambing, in the hope of obtaining thicker wool, which means increased profit. Born in the extreme cold of winter, some ten to fifteen million of these little lambs die, shivering and hungry, in icy fields.

Why are sheep forcibly impregnated so that they give birth during the winter months? So that surviving babies can be weaned in the spring, when fields are most fertile, and lambs become fat prior to being slaughtered for the Christmas markets.

Every part of breeding and raising sheep for their wool or flesh is a dirty, ugly business. PETA and our affiliates have documented cruelty to sheep at 99 wool-industry facilities in Australia, the UK, and North and South America. In Victoria in 2016, six shearers were charged with cruelty to animals after evidence showed that they beat scared sheep in the face, punched them, and stamped on their heads and necks. All six were found guilty.

The corporations that exploit sheep systematically abuse them for profit, and respond only to lost sales. If you can't stand the idea of baby lambs dying by the millions in freezing conditions, please don't buy wool, and choose vegan foods.

Mimi Bekhechi
Campaigns Strategist
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Australia)
PO Box 20308 World Square
Sydney, NSW, 2002.
(08) 8556-5828