Dear Editor, At this time of year, the British countryside is filled with lambs gamboling in the fields.
I am sure many people do not even stop to consider why the lambs are there or where they will end up. Unfortunately, the seemingly idyllic scene covers some nasty truths. Most sheep suffer throughout their short lives and are slaughtered while still young.
Many lambs are subjected to tail docking; the most commonly used method is to place a rubber band around the tail to cut off the blood supply until eventually it falls off. Male lambs endure a similar method of castration. Both of these procedures are carried out with no anaesthetic.
Metal clippers used for shearing the wool often hurt the sheep; it is common for the animals to be clipped by the blades. Shearers are paid per sheep (not per hour) and often pay little attention to animal welfare. To avoid wool loss, many farmers shear the sheep too early and many sheep die from exposure to extreme weather. People mistakenly believe that the wool in their jumper comes from live sheep, whereas in fact some wool is stripped from dead sheep at the slaughterhouse.
If you enjoy seeing the adorable lambs playing in the field each spring, please spare a thought for them and boycott wool. Viva! has recently launched a campaign against the exploitation of animals for the fashion trade. To find out about how you can be cruelty-free and fashionable, visit www.thebigcoverup.org.uk.
Youth Campaigner, Viva!