Northern Ireland Wool Industry ‘In Turmoil’ After COVID-19 Causes ‘Trade Disruptions’


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The market is in 'turmoil' (Photo: Adobe. Do not use without permission) - Media Credit:

Northern Ireland’s wool industry is said to be in ‘turmoil’ after the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has caused ‘trade disruptions.

According to the BBC, up to 10,000 tonnes of U.K wool remain unsold in stores – as many companies temporarily shut due to the country’s lockdown.

‘Grim conditions’

In an online statement, Ulster Farmers’ Union’s Nigel McLaughlin said: “The wool sector remains in turmoil due to trade disruptions caused by the pandemic.

“We wrote to Minister Poots in late May about the grim conditions of the global wool market which are a direct result of COVID-19 and have also been working closely with Ulster Wool and British Wool. We would now like to see steps being taken to address the market conditions.”

Wool investigation

Last month high street fashion giant Marks & Spencer pledged to ditch alpaca wool after an undercover investigation revealed animal suffering.

The upmarket retailer joined a slew of high street fashion giants in dropping the material. They include Esprit, Gap Inc – which owns Banana Republic, Athleta among others – and H&M Group.

The decision – which has been branded ‘compassionate’ – follows the release of a PETA exposé, which the organization describes as ‘revealing that crying alpacas are roughly shorn and left cut up and bleeding from deep wounds’.

Video footage shows that ‘workers held struggling, crying alpacas by the ears as they were roughly shorn with electric clippers, causing some to vomit out of fear’. PETA adds that the shearing left the animals with deep wounds, ‘which were sewn up without adequate pain relief’.

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