Leeds & West Yorkshire

Animal rights campaign starts 'wool capital'

Poster in Calderdale Image copyright Peta
Image caption Peta said it is for no other reason than the region's historical links to the wool trade that it was chosen for the campaign

An animal rights group starts a campaign in West Yorkshire because the region was once the "wool capital of the world".

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) has placed adverts, showing an abandoned shorn sheep, on billboards in Wakefield and Halifax.

It said it was highlighting the cruel treatment of sheep within the industry.

Critics questioned Peta's decision to target the region.

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The group's associate director Elisa Allen said: "We're taking the message that sheep are neither clothing nor food all the way to the former wool capital of the world."

She said Peta had exposed cruelty to sheep in the wool industry. But the campaign was not directly targeted at the wool-trade in West Yorkshire.

The group said it had information about 37 facilities on three continents, which reveal sheep are mutilated, abused and skinned alive.

'Torn from sheep'

Former Batley and Spen MP Elizabeth Peacock, who is a member of the Worshipful Company of Woolmen, said local firms were careful about where they sourced their wool.

"If they [Peta] have evidence then they have to produce that to people like the British Wool Marketing Board - but knowing folk as they are in Yorkshire - very straight, honest people, they would not accept wool which had been literally torn from a sheep," she said.

One person wrote on BBC Radio Leeds' Facebook page: "Farmers in this country are quality controlled - there is very little abuse to sheep as most are left to roam on our moors."

Another said sheep needed to be sheared to prevent infestation and disease.

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