SHEEP AT THE HORSHAM WOOL FACTORY
The Wool Factory in Horsham, Victoria (Australia) which has increased dramatically in size, is just one ultra-fine wool facility that intensively houses sheep. The extent of this practice is unknown because there are no controls in place to regulate the activities of those involved in the industry.
The sheep imprisoned in individual pens at the Horsham Wool Factory remain that way for up to 5 years. These animals are never let out to socialise, or graze as a mob. They have never so much as placed their feet on grass; all they feel are the wooden slats that they are forced to stand and sleep on. For more information about what the sheep endure please visit: https://sheepcruelty.wordpress.com/cruel-facts-on-shedded-sheep/
Previously the ‘Wool Factory’ opened its doors to the public so people could view the sheep that produced such sought after fine fleece, but it is not the case now. So determined to keep the truth about the conditions the sheep endure, that the facility has closed its doors to the public. This denial of entry also applies to animal welfare authorities. Unless they have a complaint about alleged cruelty or mistreatment they too are denied permission to enter the sheds to monitor the welfare of individually penned sheep. This certainly makes one wonder what the ‘Wool Factory’ has to hide.
Based on the below footage which was taken at the Horsham Wool Factory, one could say that it has a lot to hide.
The impacts of chronic stress caused by an inappropriate environment are obvious. The confined sheep continually chew on the wooden slats and strands of wire which enclose them. Repetitive body movements are also observed, classic stereotypic behaviours caused by a barren environment, combined with the inability to exercise, or to perform simple natural behaviours such as graze on grass.
Prominent animal welfare group, Animals Australia has repeatedly requested that the Horsham Wool Factory allow a full ‘animal welfare assessment’, including a behavior assessment of the sheep that are imprisoned at this facility. Their requests have been denied.
Concerns were raised with the Victorian Government Animal Welfare Advisory Committee resulting in a request for committee members to attend the facility to observe the sheep. This too was denied.
A request from the Department of Primary Industries to install cameras in the facility to monitor the behaviour of the sheep has also been denied.
Management at the Horsham Wool Factory claim that these sheep are in fact ‘healthy’ and ‘happy’. We believe this to be an outrageous and baseless claim given what can clearly be seen in the footage and photo stills.
Suggestions that these animals are ‘better off’ living in such confinement—as they are sheltered and have a daily food source—is a desperate defence from those who know they are denying these animals every behavioral need that provides any enrichment in their lives, on the basis of profit.