Wool: The Big Cover Up | Viva! - The Vegan Charity

Wool: The Big Cover Up

How much suffering is there in your wardrobe?

A seemingly idyllic scene: sheep grazing in the field, their lambs gamboling close by. However, if you look closer you will uncover a world of neglect. Most sheep suffer throughout their short lives and are slaughtered while still young. Millions of lambs freeze to death every year in Britain.

Many lambs are subjected to tail docking; the most commonly used method is to place a rubber band around the tail, to cut off the blood supply until eventually it falls off. Male lambs endure a similar method of castration. Both of these procedures are carried out with no anaesthetic and the lambs suffer great pain and distress as a result.

Metal clippers used for shearing the wool often hurt the sheep; it is common for the animals to be clipped by the blades. Shearers are paid per unit of wool and often pay little attention to animal welfare; this can cause the sheep great amounts of stress. To avoid wool loss, many farmers shear the sheep too early and many sheep die from exposure to extreme weather. People mistakenly believe that the wool in their jumper comes from live sheep, whereas in fact some wool is stripped from dead sheep at the slaughterhouse.