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People might have copped more than just a high price tag walking through Sydney's Pitt Street Mall yesterday as an anti-wool protest took place.
Two women, mocked up to look like they had been assaulted, stood with signs that explained how sheep are often 'kicked and beaten' during the sheering process.
To add an extra punch to the protest, the demonstrators held a fake animal that looked like a semi-skinned sheep.
In a press release, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) wrote: "As cold weather hits Australia, PETA supporters have staged a thought-provoking protest in a Sydney shopping mall, urging shoppers to reconsider buying wool this winter.
"Looking 'beaten' and 'bruised' and cradling a shorn 'sheep', the protesters held the demonstration after PETA and our affiliates released multiple video exposés of the wool industry around the world - including in Australia - which showed shearers punching sheep in the face, stamping and standing on their heads and necks, and beating and jabbing them with electric clippers.
"Eyewitness investigations have also documented that lambs are deliberately mutilated and left with bloody open wounds on their backsides, their ears are hole-punched, their tails are chopped off, and males are castrated - all without any pain relief."
This is one of many protests by animal welfare and vegan activist groups in Australia over the past few months with another organisation storming McDonald's last year to dump a dead pig carcass on the counter.
But it seems like this latest demonstration has hit a nerve with wool farmers.
Shearer and rural photographer James Braszell told news.com.au: "It's unfair to tarnish a whole industry with the same brush.
"Once again, it shows their lack of education on a topic they supposedly feel so strongly about.
"The 'sheep' they're holding doesn't even look like a sheep, and it's got me beat how you could even rip skin off a sheep like the dummy they're holding shows.
"That's simply not an accurate portrayal of a shorn sheep."
Mr Braszell reckons these PETA activists believe what happens at one or two farms seen in their own organisation's video investigation must happen everywhere.
He's encouraged people who are sceptical about the whole issue to go to a farm and 'look at both sides' of the debate to see whether PETA's claims really stack up.
Vegan activism is certainly on the rise in Australia, however state and federal governments have been quick to shut down illegal trespass protests to ensure farmers aren't harassed.
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