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PORT ELIZABETH – The South African Mohair industry has questioned the legitimacy of a Peta report which found evidence of animal cruelty at 12 goat farms in South Africa. The country’s mohair industry body says it considers much of the report to be “factually incorrect” and a misrepresentation of the South African mohair industry. However, somewhat paradoxically, it says an investigation will still be launched.

Zara, H&M, Gap and Topshop said they will stop selling mohair apparel after a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) investigation found evidence of animal cruelty at 12 goat farms in South Africa. The animal rights group’s eyewitness exposé, the first of its kind on the mohair sector, shows workers dragging goats by the horns and legs and lifting them off the floor by the tail.

Mohair South Africa says all mohair produced on farms implicated during the investigation will be suspended and withdrawn from auction until they have been audited and found to be in-line with industry guidelines.

A statement from Mohair South Africa, said: “Over the past decade the industry has taken great care to ensure that sustainable production practices are introduced, accompanied by third party audits as of the beginning of this year. These third party audits will be expanded and done in cooperation with animal protection organisations.

“Angora goats are farmed for their fibre and not intentionally harmed in any way as they are the livelihood of every mohair farmer. The treatment of the animals ultimately determines the farmer’s income and sustainability.

“As an industry we are passionate about our animals, our fibre and every single one of the 30,000 individuals who depend on the Mohair Industry for their livelihood. We want to ensure that we portray the passion and dedication of the South African producers and our remarkable industry – passion and dedication that is widely recognised by the international community.”

Mohair is made from the hair of Angora goats and is renowned for its softness, often being used in sweaters winter scarves.

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