Written by PETA
As Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard addressed a joint session of the U.S. Congress this morning, PETA members stood outside the Capitol with posters showing lambs who were victims of Australia's cruel mulesing mutilation.
Mulesing involves forcing lambs onto their backs and restraining them with metal bars. Large chunks of the animals' skin and flesh are either carved off or clamped with vise-like grips until the skin and flesh die and fall off. Both procedures are very painful, and sheep are rarely given adequate pain relief. Mulesing is a crude attempt to prevent flies from laying eggs in the folds of sheep's skin, but flystrike can be controlled in more effective and humane ways, as some Australian sheep farmers are already doing.
You can help end this mutilation by urging the Australian prime minister to push for all farmers to adopt humane methods of flystrike prevention.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Australian wool farmers are very fond of the myth that the mulesing mutilation (cutting the rump flesh off completely conscious lambs) is the most effective way to prevent flystrike, but we know it's only done because it's cheaper than more humane methods of controlling the affliction. These photos, recently taken on a paddock in Victoria, show several sheep suffering from absolute misery, severe neglect and flystrike, despite the fact that some had been mulesed! Yeah. Those farmers sure do care.
Many sheep found on this paddock had such severe cases of flystrike or were so starved or otherwise neglected that they required emergency treatment provided by caring civilians. Some were suffering so badly that they had to be euthanized immediately. Fortunately, an Australian animal rights activist has called for an intervention by the local authorities and has submitted this formal complaint (So far there's been no response yet.)
Australian farmers get away with cutting lambs open and leaving them to be eaten alive by maggots under the pretext of keeping them healthy. Does that sound wrong to anyone else? Please help stop this cruelty by boycotting Australian wool and informing the farmers that mulesing is wrong.
Written by Lianne Turner
Yesterday, PETA sent a letter to the Australian wool industry on behalf of numerous major clothing retailers—including Gap, Liz Claiborne, Nordstrom, Haggar Clothing, Coppley Apparel, Austin Reed, Carter's, C&A Europe, Bestseller A/S, and Matalan Retail Limited—encouraging the addition of a "clip mulesing" tick box to the industry's new nonmulesed-certification form.
In addition, Nike, Lindex, Marks & Spencer, and H&M sent their own letters urging the industry to add clip mulesing to the certification.
So, what is this tick box, and why is it important? Well, the wool industry has made a certification form to allow retailers to purchase wool from lambs who haven't undergone the mulesing mutilation. (Yay!) But under the current certification, if a retailer also doesn't want wool from lambs who have undergone clip mulesing—where their skin is painfully killed using tight clamps—they can't get it. (Boo!)
So PETA flexed a little muscle and got 15 major clothing retailers, whose sales total more than AUD $100 billion (yes, that's "billion" with a "B"), to send a strong message to the wool industry that they oppose clip mulesing and want to avoid mulesing of any kind in their supply chains.
Of these companies, one—Nordstrom—stands out. Nordstrom was ready to pilot the certification program for all its own-label 2009 men's merino wool sweaters. After figuring out that the industry couldn't guarantee that no clip mulesing was used for the sweaters, Nordstrom backed out of the program. But then it went even one step further and decided to source all that wool from outside Australia instead!
Kudos to Nordstrom and these 14 other retailers for helping send the strong message that clip mulesing is not acceptable and that real alternatives to mulesing must be put in place.
The world is watching, Australia ….
Written by Matt Prescott, PETA Corporate Affairs
Here’s the big news I was hinting at in the last post: H&M, which recently pledged to stop buying wool from Australian sources that still use the mulesing mutilation (essentially, slicing up sheep’s backsides), has set off a chain reaction throughout Europe: Following H&M’s announcement, 17 other major Swedish retailers have made the same pledge, and a coalition of 31 European retailers have announced that they are considering or have decided to stop using wool from mulesed lambs. On top of all this, 10 Danish retailers have withdrawn their support of mulesing, and the Western Australia Department of Agriculture has announced that it will stop mulesing.
What does this all add up to? The total amount of cancelled orders of Aussie wool from Europe as a result of these decisions comes to 550,000 bales of wool. This is a big wakeup call to Aussie wool farmers who continue to mutilate lambs, and a strong message to wool industry executives that their continued refusal to adopt humane practices will directly affect their bottom line.
For more information on the fallout from this recent outcry against the Australian wool industry, here’s the letter that PETA President Ingrid Newkirk sent to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd last week:
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animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.