MOHAIR farmers have accused PETA of “misrepresenting” the industry in a video alleging animal cruelty.
The film shows animal abuse on just a handful of angora goat farms but Peta said it was standard practice in South Africa where there are 1,000 farms.
Now over 700 angora farmer have jointly claimed Peta has deliberately published fake news claims which could blight the industry.
Gay van Hasselt, who has been farming angora goats for 30 years said: “The misrepresentation in that video is completely and utterly nauseating. The part in the shearing shed and what happened in there is unacceptable, but that it was touted as general practice in the industry is absolutely false.”
Deon Saayman, CEO of Mohair SA (short for “South Africa”), a non-profit organization that is responsible for the marketing and promotion of mohair fiber said: “Much of the report and the accompanying footage was factually incorrect and a gross misrepresentation of the industry.
“If a farm should close down, in an industry where as a result of a boycott there is no demand for mohair, it would be a death sentence for those goats.”
Mohair SA said that from the PETA footage it had only been able to identify two farms where there were questions about shearing practices.
The National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has also taken steps to independently investigate the matter.
Grace de Lange of the Farm Animal Protection Unit at the NSPCA said: “The footage has brought to light horrendous activities and we are considering legal action against those people identifiable.”
South Africa has had a mohair industry for 180 years and it employs 30,000 people mostly in the impoverished Karoo desert.
Foreign exports are worth $120 million a year and the price of the wool, considered a luxury fiber, has soared.