PETA Australia has launched a new anti-wool out-of-home advertising campaign across Sydney.
The animal welfare organisation has taken out three billboards on Beecroft Road in Epping, Princes Highway in Gymea and Parramatta Road in Leichhardt to encourage Australians to not wear wool products.
The billboards depict a sheep in a field accompanied by the words, "we're individuals. We're not jumpers. Wear something vegan."
The action follows a two-year undercover investigation into the Australian wool industry by PETA Asia.
In that investigation, PETA claims that, "workers punched frightened sheep, stood on their heads and necks, and beat them in the face with heavy electric clippers."
Following the investigation, a sheep shearer pleaded guilty of cruelty to animals at Horsham Magistrates‘ Court in February 2020.
In handing down the sentence to the shearer, magistrate Simon Zebrowski said that shearers have a responsibility to conduct their work with care.
"If you work with animals you have a responsibility, not just to your employer and not just to the production of wool, but to the animal you are working with...to do your job in a humane way that causes as little trauma to the animal as possible."
PETA Australia spokesperson Emily Rice said that sheep wool should not be used for clothing.
"Australians are beginning to realise that the wool industry is the live-export industry and are rightly turning their backs on it.
"Consumers don't want to contribute to a trade that hacks off the backsides of lambs, perpetuates violence towards animals in its shearing sheds, and ultimately sends animals to slaughter once they're no longer considered useful.
"Sheep value their lives, just as we do; they are not ours to use for clothing," she said.
PETA and its affiliates have conducted 13 investigations into the global wool industry since 2014 and have stated that even after the introduction of the Responsible Wool Standard in 2016, cruelty towards sheep continues.