Grisly video prompts Patagonia to stop buying wool from Argentine supplier

Associated Press

Outdoor clothing maker Patagonia said it has stopped buying wool from Argentina-based supplier Ovis 21 after video released by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals showed sheep and lambs being mutilated and skinned alive.

The video showed "horrifying mistreatment" of animals during shearing and slaughter at a ranch affiliated with the Ovis 21 network, Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario said in a statement released Monday.

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Ovis 21 supplies merino wool to Ventura-based Patagonia through a network of ranches that Ovis 21 has certified as meeting certain standards for sustainable grazing, wool production and quality.

PETA last week released a three-minute video, apparently taken in December at a ranch certified by Ovis 21.

The video showed lambs having their tails docked — a routine practice for hygienic reasons — as well as workers cutting the throats of kicking sheep and in one case, beginning to skin a sheep while it was still alive. The video also appears to show brutal treatment during shearing.

"Patagonia's partnership with Ovis 21 has been a source of pride because of the program's genuine commitment to regenerating the grassland ecosystem, but this work must come equally with respectful and humane treatment of the animals that contribute to this endeavor," Marcario's statement said.

Patagonia will continue to make clothing using its existing stock of wool until it gets a new supplier and "we can assure our customers of a verifiable process that ensures the humane treatment of animals," Marcario said.

Ovis 21 said the video showed "unacceptable" images of inhumane treatment and it has decertified the ranch from its network.

"Ovis 21 does not justify cruelty," its statement said.