Australian sheep punched, stamped on and thrown: PETA

Jul 11, 2014
Sheep graze in the bushfire-scarred mountainous terrain near the town of Coonabarabran in south-eastern Australia

Footage showing sheep being violently abused by shearers—including being punched in the face and hit with tools—was condemned Friday by Australia's Agriculture Minister as "exceptional and cruel".

The images, reportedly filmed in Australia by undercover investigators for the animal rights group PETA, showed shearers severely abusing animals in a country famed for its wool industry and exports.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said the footage was shot at 19 contractor-run sheep shearing sheds in Australia between October 2013 and February 2014.

Shearers were recorded repeatedly beating sheep, stamping on their necks, throwing them and stitching wounds apparently without anaesthetic.

It was first reported by US television network NBC before the activist group released it online Thursday.

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said Friday that the video was shocking, but added that he wanted to know more about its source and how it was obtained.

"One of the questions I ask is with the up close shot of the man hitting the sheep, which is obviously exceptional and cruel and in many instances would be immediate dismissal, where exactly was the camera?" he told ABC radio.

"Did the person know that they were filmed? Were they actually part of the process? There are lots of questions that need to be asked."

PETA said it would not reveal where the footage was taken to protect its investigators.

Supporters of animal rights display a banner against abuse of animals in Sydney on November 11, 2012

The RSPCA animal charity said the abuse allegations were "serious" and it would be investigated for potential breaches of Australian legislation.

WoolProducers Australia added in a statement it was "shocked and appalled by the footage" but that it was an isolated incident.

"We ask all woolgrowers to take a zero tolerance approach to poor animal welfare practice and take the necessary steps to ensure rare behaviour like this ends," WoolProducers Australia president Geoff Fisken said.

In March, Australia resumed exporting and cattle to Egypt after an agreement with importers on animal welfare standards.

Live cattle exports from Australia to Egypt were suspended last year after released by Animals Australia of the graphic slaughter of an animal.

Australia's live cattle trade to Indonesia was also temporary halted in 2011 on cruelty concerns.

Support has grown in Australia for the introduction of "ag gag" laws, already in practice in the US, that would make it illegal for activists to secretly film practises on a farm and then broadcast it without alerting authorities.

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User comments : 8

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EWH
1.7 / 5 (6) Jul 11, 2014
Why is this political advocacy press release on this site? PETA is an extremist and sometimes terroristic organization of zealots and hypocrites which cannot be trusted to report fairly.
Molly555
4.8 / 5 (4) Jul 11, 2014
Ag-Gag legislation needs to stop. People who are in favor of ag-gag legislation are profiting off of animal abuse in some way. Wool, fur, leather, meat, dairy, circuses, etc. Using animals as commodities is a multi billion dollar business, and these industries don't want the public to know that animal abuse is rampant. Wanting to protect animals is not terrorism. Ag-gag legislation exemplifies how big money pays of politicians. Animals have no voice, and they depend on compassionate people to help them. STOP criminalizing compassionate people, START criminalizing the animal abusers.
Dr_toad
1 / 5 (4) Jul 11, 2014
I have so much to say. Mostly in agreement, but with a couple of philosophical and pragmatic concerns.

This isn't the place, because the conversation would be ridden down under the onslaught of those who carry the White Man's Burden. Tally-ho!
Sinister1812
1 / 5 (2) Jul 11, 2014
People in south Asian and middle eastern countries have ZERO respect for our livestock. It's really quite sickening.
Sinister1812
5 / 5 (1) Jul 11, 2014
Why is this political advocacy press release on this site? PETA is an extremist and sometimes terroristic organization of zealots and hypocrites which cannot be trusted to report fairly.


Man, what a retard. Look up on Youtube, to see what happens to Australian cattle in Egypt. I nearly threw up.
Kieseyhow
5 / 5 (1) Jul 12, 2014
The problem in the garden of human society, is that not enough weeding has been done to clear out the trash. Anyone who mistreats another should be sterilized and treated the same in return, as a warning to others. What kind of world do you want to live in? If there are no punishments, some will never respect the rules. That is how the base human mind thinks. Oh did you think humans will just "do the right thing", well sorry, but while most will, there are many that will never follow the rules, and they are breeding. The average criminal mind thinks, "Oh, no threat, then carry on!" Too many type-one personalities ruining everything for honourable people.
Sinister1812
not rated yet Jul 12, 2014
I guess I hit a nerve with some 1 star hit n run jockey.
zaxxon451
5 / 5 (2) Jul 12, 2014
Ag-Gag legislation needs to stop. People who are in favor of ag-gag legislation are profiting off of animal abuse in some way. Wool, fur, leather, meat, dairy, circuses, etc. Using animals as commodities is a multi billion dollar business, and these industries don't want the public to know that animal abuse is rampant. Wanting to protect animals is not terrorism. Ag-gag legislation exemplifies how big money pays of politicians. Animals have no voice, and they depend on compassionate people to help them. STOP criminalizing compassionate people, START criminalizing the animal abusers.


Well said.