South Africans and international retailers have been shocked out of their mohair socks and jackets. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) Asia released a video containing footage of Angora goats being dragged, dropped and injured by farmworkers. The video spread like wildfire and mohair farmers are starting to feel the burn. Ouch!
Watch the video here:
WARNING: The following video contains scenes with disturbing and violent content.
PETA is threatening to shut down the mohair wool industry completely due to their shocking discovery. Yes, the mohair industry is hanging by a thread. Arcadia Group has stopped placing orders for mohair products across its eight top brands. Other big retailers like GAP, Banana Republic and ZARA will also stop using mohair by 2020. H&M however won’t wait to witness another gruesome goat slaughter – The global retailer will, effective immediately, remove the use of mohair from all their clothing ranges.
Okay, that’s great! Retailers are standing up for our fluffy friends. The solution however isn’t as simple as to stop supporting the mohair industry. Removing mohair from products might (or might not) stop animal abuse, but what about the consequences of 30 000 jobless South Africans? That’s what will happen if the mohair industry crashes?
The viral video is “totally misguided” according to Deon Saayman of the SAMGA (South African Mohair Growers Association). “We have a Code of Production. That’s not how mohair is produced” says Deon. Gay van Hasselt, an Angora farmer from Prince Albert, agrees that the claims of widespread cruelty couldn’t be further from the truth. According to Hasselt many Angora farmers are passionate people that care deeply about their animals.
There are always two sides to a story and generalisation isn’t fair, but the fact that the horror short film exists can’t be overlooked blindly. PETA has made a few sensible (and sensational) comments about the shocking short clip. The influential animal organization reported that the video revealed some shocking footage of stressful and abusive shearing. PETA says that they visited 12 Angora farms. The video however does not include footage from all 12 farms.
Animal abuse is not okay! It’s a serious matter that needs to be investigated properly. The unravelling of the shocking video has brought a sensitive subject to light that will affect mohair farmers, workers, fashion brands and the South African economy. Hopefully the guilty parties will take ownership of their past mistakes and start treating their goats with respect, love and care. If the mohair industry spins off the wheel, there will be financial holes in many South African pockets and farms with empty sheds.
Retailers and outlets should be responsible and make sure that their mohair comes from a farm that treats their animals fairly. Large retailers shouldn’t completely remove mohair from their clothing ranges, but should be sure about the farms that supply them.
Thank you to the Angora farmers who do not tolerate animal abuse. To the rest – you’re gross. #stopanimalabuse
What can you do to help?