Surat shearer hits back at PETA campaign
SHEARER James 'Boogie' Ferguson knows what a shorn sheep looks like - and it's nothing like what People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is claiming.
The Surat-born shearer trainer has hit back at PETA's poster campaign that shows a battered and cut sheep above the words "Here's the rest of your wool coat".
Mr Ferguson, a national shearing competitor, said he was "disgusted" when he saw the poster.
He said it was completely untrue.
"I was disgusted and I was asking how human beings could do that (referring to the PETA campaign itself)," he said.
Mr Ferguson said the "marks" on the sheep in the poster, which was later revealed as a plastic prop, could not possibly be done by shears.
"It would have to be a knife to peel off the skin and we don't use knives.
"That's why we have shearing schools - so shearers don't cut them.
"We might get a cut on a sheep once a week with one guy and that's just because the sheep has been moving.
"You don't go near (the skin) and that comes down to when you're learning to shear we know not to go across the sheep, but leave about 3mm of wool."
The body behind the wool industry has also expressed its outrage at the latest anti-wool campaign by PETA.
Wool Producers Australia CEO Jo Hall said the campaign, which depicts sheep shearers as cruel and brutal, is "a blatant lie."
"To the general PETA campaign, what they are saying is not correct - it is not common practice to treat animals like that," she said.
"It's clearly a blatant lie.
"The fact is, PETA as an animal rights group has called for an end of the wool industry and that's not going to happen."
Ms Hall, whose family is also involved with the wool industry, said she was personally shocked at the message of PETA's poster and accompanying video.
"For anyone to cast blatant lies about an industry I care about I find pretty offensive," she said.
"Australian wool producers are among the best in the world and they take animal welfare very seriously.
"It was a silly stunt to pull and so far removed from reality and they've been called out on it."