Vegetarians International Voice for Animals

Bo Peep and her angry sheep come to Exeter

National animal campaign launched in cityPhotocallDate: Wednesday, March 18 Time: 12noon Location: High Street, Exeter, by Bedford Square

Release date: 
Tuesday, March 17, 2009

VISITORS to Exeter City Centre will have their eyes opened to the suffering of animals at the heart of the wool industry during a demonstration organised by animal campaigning group Viva! on Wednesday (March 18). A group of "sheep' will be revolting against "Bo Beep' over their stolen wool " calling on consumers to boycott the product and industry, which the group claims is cruel. Members of Exeter Friends for Animals will be joining the thought-provoking scene to educate shoppers about what really happens to animals in the name of fashion. Viva! are launching their national The Big Cover Up campaign in the city " which looks at the suffering that could be hiding within consumer's wardrobes. The Big Cover Up uncovers the reality behind wool, fur, silk and leather production. As part of the The Big Cover Up, Viva! have produced a new report Died in the Wool, which uncovers the horrors of the wool industry. Wool facts: ' Naturally sheep shed and gain wool as they need " but due to breeding practices they are no longer able to do this and so have to be shorn ' Some wool comes from the slaughterhouse floor ' Around 15 per cent of all newborn lambs annually die ' Hypothermia is responsible for around one million UK lamb deaths each year ' Most UK lambs are subjected to tail docking; a rubber ring is applied to the tail and prevents blood flow, between four to six weeks the tail will wither and drop off. This causes pain and stress in the lamb ' Naturally, sheep can live up to 17 years, but the majority slaughtered each year are still lambs Sharon Howe from Exeter Friends for Animals says: "It's great that more and more people today are expressing their opposition to factory farming by giving up meat and going veggie, but many don't realise the animal suffering that goes into the clothes and accessories we wear. We're keen to get this important message across to the public so they will join us in boycotting wool.' Viva! campaigner Fiona Galbraith says: "A common misconception is that sheep are sheared to improve their welfare. Years of selective breeding has guaranteed sheep can no longer moult enough fleece for the summer months, but this does not mean they are sheared with their welfare in mind. In fact it is for the promise of financial return. Shearers are usually paid per animal meaning they spend as little time as possible on each animal and consequently welfare may be compromised. Once the sheep are too old to produce high quality wool, they will be sent to slaughter. Consumers can do their bit to end this suffering by simply boycotting wool and other animal products such as leather, silk and fur.' Viva!'s new campaign The Big Cover Up urges the public to boycott materials which exploit animals; wool, leather, fur and silk. For more information, visit www.thebigcoverup.org.uk or call 0117 944 1000 or email fiona@viva.org.uk. The report Died in the Wool is available on request. ENDS The photocall will feature: Bo Peep, Viva! campaigners and local supporters, wearing sheep masks. During the peaceful demonstration, leaflets and information will also be offered to members of the public. For more information, please contact press officer Helen Rossiter by emailing press@viva.org.uk or Fiona Galbraith by emailing fiona@viva.org.uk or by calling 0117 944 1000. To contact Fiona Galbraith on the day, please call 07794 083547.