Workers sliced off sheep's tails, plunged knives into the throats of conscious animals and started to skin lambs while they were still alive.
Update: On August 17, 2015, following PETA's exposé, Patagonia announced that it was dropping Ovis 21 as a supplier and would not buy wool again until the company could be assured of "the humane treatment of animals." We praise the new move, as 'all steps are good steps,' but caution that as Patagonia delves deeper into the wool supply chain, it will find that cruelty will always be a part of wool production, as has been found in Australia, the US, and now Argentina. If the company is honest, we doubt it could return to buying real wool again.
Patagonia has claimed that its wool is "responsibly sourced". Yet an eyewitness who visited farms in Argentina in the Ovis 21 network – Patagonia's wool supplier – found something very different.
Young lambs had pieces of their ears cut out with plier-like tools and had their tails cut off. One lamb was castrated by having a tight ring put around his scrotum – all without painkillers. Such hideous mutilations are common across the wool industry. During shearing, sheep were stamped on and left cut and bleeding. One sheep even died from a wound afterwards, according to a worker.
Most shockingly, workers were documented killing conscious lambs in horrifying, gruesome ways. They tied the animals' legs together, plunged knives into their throats and sawed through their necks. Then they snapped the animals' heads backwards, apparently trying to break their necks. Minutes later, some lambs were still alive and kicking when a worker drove a knife into their legs to start skinning them.
Eventually, they were hacked apart. Their organs were carved out of their bodies and their severed heads dumped into a bloody tub. This happened in full view of other terrified lambs – who knew their turn would be next.
Please, speak out against this cruelty.
No matter where wool comes from, it's the product of animal suffering. Previous exposés by PETA US have uncovered similar abuses on sheep farms all over the world. There is simply no way to raise and kill animals for the mass market in a humane way.
You can help end sheep's suffering by refusing to buy items made from wool. Instead, choose from the many warm, animal-free clothing options available.
Please also thank Patagonia for dropping Ovis 21, but urge it to drop all wool in favour of animal-friendly materials because there is simply no such thing as humane wool.