PORT ELIZABETH – 30,000 jobs are at risk while 800,000 goats face being culled after dozens of apparel brands ditched mohair from their collections in the wake of a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) exposé in South Africa. Dozens of leading global apparel brands, including Zara, H&M, Gap and Topshop, have said they will stop selling mohair apparel after the Peta investigation in April found evidence of animal cruelty at 12 goat farms in South Africa.
Deon Saayman, managing director of Mohair South Africa, said internal investigations following the Peta report found the shearing in the video footage originates from two farms. “On both these farms the shearing was conducted by the same independent shearing contractor,” said Saayman. “Mohair South Africa has demanded a full report and explanation from the contractor in question as to the breaches of its guidelines apparent from the footage. The shearing contractor has also been requested to report on its disciplinary process in respect of the persons implicated in the video footage, and the measures it has undertaken to ensure the prevention of any future breaches of Mohair South Africa’s guidelines and policies.”
Saayman added: “The production of mohair supports approximately 30 000 people, many of whom are labourers living in the Karoo, a large, arid, sparsely populated semi-desert. A ban on mohair will leave many of these vulnerable people destitute, and will lead to the destruction of the mohair industry, as well as the loss of approximately 800 000 angora goats in South Africa. Mohair South Africa therefore not only has a responsibility to the 800 000 angora goats to ensure their continued safe and ethical treatment, but also to the thousands of people relying on the industry for their livelihoods.
“In fulfilment of its mandate to advance the ethical production of this natural alternative to synthetic fibres, Mohair South Africa will continue the dialogue with the international clothing brands about their decision to stop using mohair, while at the same time continuing to act against any person who falls short of our standards.