THE RSPCA will investigate allegations of cruelty towards sheep during shearing in NSW and South Australia.
The organisation has received complaints from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) about incidents alleged to have taken place during August 2013 and March 2014.
The allegations relate to workers beating, kicking and stomping on sheep, and stitching wounds without anaesthetic.
The vision made publicly available by PETA overnight showed sheep being beaten with shearing hand pieces and thrown down a chute, while sheep that had been injured during shearing were roughly stitched up, an RSPCA spokesperson said.
The RSPCA said shearing was stressful for sheep and it should be carried out by trained and competent workers.
The allegations were serious, the organisation said, and would be investigated by inspectors as information came to hand for potential breaches of the relevant state animal welfare legislation.