Cruelty-to-animals charges have been filed against four angora goat farmers in South Africa following an exposé by animal rights group PETA earlier this year.

The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) filed the charges against the farmers this week. They will now be investigated by the South African Police Service – along with shearers and other farm workers – before the case is submitted to the national prosecutor.

PETA US said it provided the NSPCA with video footage of workers dragging goats by the horns and legs and lifting them off the floor by the tail. One worker could be seen slowly cutting the throats of fully conscious goats with a dull knife and then breaking their necks, hacking off one animal’s head. The exposé had involved going inside 12 farms earlier this year.

Each of the alleged violations of South Africa’s Animals Protection Act, 1962, is punishable by up to one year in prison and/or a fine of ZAR4,000 (US$269).

“For the first time, charges have been filed against mohair-industry workers for cruelly handling and slowly killing panicked goats,” says PETA director Elisa Allen. “PETA is calling on shoppers worldwide to reject cruelty to animals, and that includes never buying mohair, fleece, or fur.”

Nearly 300 major retailers worldwide have now banned mohair in response to PETA’s evidence, including Gap, H&M, Topshop, Marks & Spencer, Inditex, Primark, Anthropologie, Esprit and Asos.