The Agony Behind Angora Wool

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Bleeding bunnies scream in pain as they are plucked alive for hats, socks, scarves and jumpers.

A PETA Asia investigation into angora farms in China – the world's top producer of angora wool – has revealed shockingly cruel treatment of rabbits.

Investigators found that sickening abuse of animals is standard practice on Chinese angora farms. Rabbits – who are extremely clean by nature – are kept for their entire lives in tiny, filthy cages, surrounded by their own waste, with little protection from the elements. The thin cage wires constantly cut into their sensitive footpads, and they never have the chance to run around, jump or play.

Rabbits are in extreme shock after having their fur plucked out. One farmer admitted that about 60 per cent of rabbits who are plucked die within one to two years.

Animals who have their fur cut or sheared also suffer. During the cutting process, they have ropes tied to their front and back legs so that they can be stretched across a board. Some are even suspended in the air, while panting heavily and struggling to escape.

If they don't die from the trauma of plucking or shearing, rabbits on these farms are generally killed after between two and five years. They have their necks broken and then are hung upside down and have their throats slit. Their meat is sold to local markets.

Rabbits are sensitive, smart, social animals. They can hop faster than a cat or human can run, have individual personalities and form lifelong bonds with one another. As you can imagine, they suffer intense pain and terror when they are imprisoned in tiny cages, are manhandled and have the fur torn from their bodies.

What You Can Do

Consumer demand drives the heartless angora industry. As long as shoppers in the West continue to buy angora hats, socks, scarves and other items, farmers will continue to profit from torturing rabbits. Ninety per cent of the world's angora comes from China, where there are no penalties for the abuse of animals on farms and no standards to regulate the treatment of the animals.

Many retailers have already dropped angora as a result of consumer pressure. See the complete list.

The best thing you can do to help rabbits is to refuse to buy angora and ask your family and friends to do the same.

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