Domestic sheep are genetically bred to produce more skin and fleece than their wild relatives. Shearing is a brutal process that is extremely stressful for the animals, and frequently results in painful injuries because of the excess skin. Allowed to live out their natural lifespans sheep would live up to around 12 years, but are sent to slaughter at a far earlier age when their wool production begins to decline. Buying wool also supports the meat industry as those raised for wool are almost always killed for meat.
Fleecehaven Sheep Sanctuary, North Devon