Gory video hits mohair production

Disturbing images of shearing lead to outcry

A screen grab from the video | An eyewitness in South Africa—the world's top mohair producer—found that workers struck, mutilated, and decapitated terrified goats.
A screen grab from the video | An eyewitness in South Africa—the world's top mohair producer—found that workers struck, mutilated, and decapitated terrified goats.

Production has been halted on Mohair farms in the Eastern and Western Cape after a gory video by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) showed disturbing footage of the shearing process. The four-minute video was released last week.

It has led to a public outcry and a ban on the product by top clothing brands such as H&M, Zara, Gap and Topshop, according to the Sunday Times.

The video shows screaming baby Angora goats being corralled into pens and mutilated corpses in different stages of decay.

It also shows the many ways which the animals are exploited for profit.

But the South African Mohair Industry ‘ has blasted the video, saying the footage was not all correct.

South African Mohair Industry managing director Deon Saayman said it was left shocked by reports of animals being mistreated and viewed the reports in a serious light.

Deon Saayman
Deon Saayman

“We are treating them with the greatest of urgency,” he said.

“As an industry, we are passionate about our animals, our fibre and every single one of the 30 000 individuals who depend on the South African mohair industry for their livelihood.

“While much of the report and accompanying footage are factually incorrect and a gross misrepresentation of the South African Mohair Industry, some isolated issues have been raised and we have launched an investigation to address these issues directly and swiftly,” he said.

As the investigation is still under way, mohair products have been suspended from auctions until the investigation is finished.

Saayman was unable to provide specific details of the farms in the video. He said the affected farms stretched across 700 commercial producers in the Western and Eastern Cape.

Of the 12 farms PETA claims to have visited only a small fraction of these are under investigation.

“The mohair of everyone that has been implicated by the video has been suspended,” he said.

“It has been pulled from the upcoming auction until they have been reassessed and until the outside, independent auditors can conduct their own assessments to see whether these farmers comply with our sustainable industry guidelines and with the law.

“Once the audits have been finalised a decision will be made on whether or not their product will be allowed to be sold again.

WATCH | PETA's expose on the SA mohair industry. WARNING! Footage may upset sensitive viewers

An eyewitness in South Africa—the world's top mohair producer—found that workers struck, mutilated, and decapitated terrified goats. WARNING - footage may upset sensitive viewers.

“We are still in the process of finding out who all these farmers are. Some have been implicated by the video but we can’t say who they are or how many they are because these farms stretch over the two regions,” he said.

According to Saayman, PETA visited the farms under false pretences.

“We don’t know which farms the video was taken on. We’re in the process of gathering all the information to see what transpired,” he said.

Attempts yesterday to reach PETA Asia – which recorded the video – via e-mail and by phone for comment failed.

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