Written by PETA
If you haven't been keeping up with world events, you may be surprised to learn that change has come to the land down under. Julia Gillard recently made history by becoming Australia's first female prime minister. Now PETA is asking this precedent-setting PM to implement another big change: Help end the barbaric mulesing mutilation that's needlessly inflicted on millions of lambs every year.
PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk has dashed off a letter to Gillard asking her to spearhead government action on this issue.
Says Ingrid: "Carving hunks of flesh from lambs' rumps is a crude way to attempt (often unsuccessfully) to prevent flystrike. I have seen dead mulesed sheep with my own eyes, and everyone knows that there are humane options that should replace this barbaric act."
Experts estimate that mulesing could be phased out in just two years if Australian wool farmers would simply stop breeding overly woolly merino sheep—whose wrinkly skin makes them more susceptible to flystrike—and switch to "bare-breech" sheep (i.e., ones with smooth bottoms) instead. So far, greedy sheep farmers have refused to make the switch, so it's up to us to push hard—and we are doing just that with our campaign to get retailers and consumers around the world to reject merino wool.
If you've contacted decision-makers about this issue before, please do so again. If you haven't, now's the time. We'd like everyone to please take a minute to congratulate Prime Minister Gillard and ask her to fast-track the transition away from mulesing.
Written by Paula Moore
Following discussions with PETA about the extremely unpleasant habit that Australian Farmers have of mutilating lambs in their care, Hugo Boss has announced that it will phase out the use of Australian wool that comes from lambs who have undergone the mutilation. Here’s what they said:
"HUGO BOSS disassociates itself from mulesing because it contravenes our corporate values … [and] has decided to phase out the use of wool from farms that perform mulesing—including clip mulesing. Should mulesing not have ended completely by 2010, HUGO BOSS will refuse to purchase wool material from farms that perform mulesing."
Hugo Boss isn’t the only company to make such a compassionate decision this month—IC Companys (the massive Danish clothing retailer), has also pledged to get all their wool from outside Australia until the Aussie sheep farmers can figure out a way to raise animals that doesn’t involve slicing them up with gardening shears. Both companies have also rejected the ridiculous “clip mulesing” alternative, which involves using clips to clamp down on the sheep’s skin so tightly that it dies. So the farmers are going to have to figure something out that’s actually humane. We’ve got tons of suggestions.
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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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.