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Peta wool ad is just shear confusion, watchdog rules

AN ADVERT that claimed ‘wool is just as cruel as fur’ has been banned after it was ruled to be misleading.

The ad (pictured above), placed on buses in February by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), read: ‘Don’t let them pull the wool over your eyes. Wool is just as cruel as fur. Go wool-free this winter.’ But ten complainants said wool could not be compared with fur because sheep are shorn for health reasons.

Peta replied that suffering like that in the fur trade had also been seen in the wool industry but was not as widely known.

The group added the need to shear sheep was due to selective breeding to increase the yield of wool. It said the industry had created ‘unnatural animals’, leading to a genetic condition which ‘caused them to suffer as they may overheat and would undergo the pain and stress of shearing’.

However, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled the ad was misleading. It said government guidelines called for sheep to be shorn yearly, without cutting their skin, as well as demanding other safeguards. It said ‘sheep were not killed for their wool as animals were in the fur industry and there were standards in place relating to their welfare, including shearing’.

Peta called the ruling ‘confusing and disappointing’ and said it planned to modify the advert for the winter.