UGG’s Ugly Side

Riley Fisher, Fall 2014 J1 Student

Do you think UGG boots are cute? Every pair of UGG boots someone buys, sheep are put through horrible torture for. They aren’t just killed; their sheepskin is skinned off of their bodies while still conscious.

The specific kind of sheep used for UGG boots are called Merino sheep. Merino sheep are found to have very thick wool which should be shorn or shaved off every year.

According to, if the coat is not shorn once a year, it can cause the sheep to have many health problems and leave the sheep in discomfort. Merino sheep are not shorn ever because the wool is more valuable if it is thicker.

Instead of their coats being sheared off, the skin is taken off too, rather than just the wool. This process is called mulesing, which according to, is a process involving the removal of strips of wool-bearing skin from around a sheep’ buttocks to prevent parasitic infestations by fly larvae. These infestations are caused by the sheep not being shorn because the wool has become too thick to be healthy. These patches of infested wool are then hacked off the sheep because the area of infested wool can’t be used. This leaves the sheep with open wounds and in extreme pain and discomfort.

Although these sheep aren’t killed specifically for UGG boots, after they have been mulesed, they are sent straight to a slaughterhouse in compact and hot traveling conditions.

The cruelty doesn’t end with the sheep. According to DailyMail, raccoon dogs, a species closely related to the dog and cat, are mistreated for the fur used to make fake UGGs. The fur of raccoon dogs are also ripped off of the animal while conscious.

Brands closely related to UGGs have also been found to be doing the same thing. Raccoon dogs and merino sheep are used in a horrible way for supposedly “adorable” boots.

Animal cruelty is an awful thing, and this should be stopped. The horrible conditions these animals have to go through should be banned and illegal.

Think twice before buying UGG boots.