WAFarmers has exceeded its $4500 target to send Adelaide-born vegan guitarist Jona Weinhofen to shearing school after he fronted a PETA video criticising shearers, wool-growing and woollen garments.
The crowdfunding campaign was supported by 94 people who donated $5500 in 17 days to send Jona Weinhofen to shearing school.
However, a WAFarmers spokeswoman said Mr Weinhofen “hasn’t said yes and he hasn’t said no.”
“We’ve received a letter in response to our letter so we are currently in communication with him.”
Weinhofen would shear sheep “freed from exploitation”
On Twitter last week, Mr Weinhofen said he said the only reason he would ever need to learn to shear a sheep “would be to shear those freed from the exploitation”.
“If the industry didn’t exist, neither would the exploitation, demand or necessity for shearing.”
He continued to argue that there were “countless” alternatives to wool.
“What if one became injured and needed expensive surgery. How much do you love them?” he tweeted.
WAFarmers said its campaign was initiated as a result of the organisation’s frustration with PETA’s anti-shearing advertisement and video that misrepresented the Australian wool industry and the practices of its shearers. the video featured a fake lamb with supposed shearing injuries.
Industry response to PETA is important
WAFarmers president Dale Park said responding to such a blatant attack was important.
“PETA reported an annual turnover of $52 million dollars last financial year, compared with our turnover of roughly $1.6 million dollars.
“We don’t have the resources or funds that large organisations like PETA do but that doesn’t mean we’ll sit back and be bullied,” Mr Park said.
The campaign has garnered support from across Australia and overseas, including $1000 each from WA wool producers Geoff Brown and Eric Emmott.
“WAFarmers constantly promotes the high animal welfare standards which our members maintain and strive to improve but all it takes is one misleading campaign to undo that work,” Mr Park said.
An invitation has been sent to Mr Weinhofen and WAFarmers awaited his response.
Sources: WAFarmers, Twitter.