Fake news claims NZ farmer sold sheep to Islamic State as sex slaves

A satirical article claimed a Kiwi farmer sold sheep to Islamic State to be used for sex.
A satirical article claimed a Kiwi farmer sold sheep to Islamic State to be used for sex. Photo credit: Getty

A joke article saying a New Zealand farmer sold sheep to Islamic State to be used as sex slaves has fooled many on social media.

World News Daily Report is a website that produces satirical stories on a range of absurd topics.

Headlines they've published in the past include 'Morgue employee cremated by mistake while taking a nap' and 'Donald Trump is addicted to penis enlargement pills, claims his ex-wife'.

One of their most outrageous stories was titled 'New Zealand farmer arrested for selling sheep as sex slaves to ISIS'. It said a 52-year-old man named Allan Seymour had shipped more than 20,000 sheep to Syria to "satisfy ISIS soldiers' sexual appetite", according to a fictional Ministry of Defence spokesperson.

The article misspelled Defence as Defense, which is American spelling.

Non-existent 'political analyst and Middle Eastern expert' Dave Wellsborough was quoted as saying that Islamic State - also known as ISIS - imports a lot of livestock for their soldiers to have sex with, as "there are not many women around".

It also quoted a Quranic scholar named Dr Zakir Naik as saying that bestiality is permitted in Islam. Dr Naik does exist, but there is no evidence that he has ever made such a claim. The false claim that Islam approves of bestiality is a common tactic used by Islamophobes. 

Fact-checking website Snopes says the original article (which was published in 2017) has been "translated and reposted on innumerable blogs and web sites… in the ensuing months".

The article received a boost in popularity in late May for some reason, with many people sharing it on social media in the belief it was genuine news. Some who fell for the story have thousands of followers.

World News Daily Report features a disclaimer at the bottom of all of its articles that all of its content is satirical and fictional.

"All characters appearing in the articles in this website - even those based on real people - are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any persons, living, dead, or undead is purely a miracle," it reads.