Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

Aussie Lambs’ Backsides Get a Break?

Written by PETA | August 26, 2008
directnews / CC
Lambs

Regular readers know that mulesing is a process whereby sheep farmers in Australia turn lambs upside-down and cut off the skin and flesh on their rumps with a pair of gardening shears and without any pain relief. Now there are reports that Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), in response to PETA’s campaign to end mulesing, has developed another new mulesing alternative, but being hopeful of progress by AWI is something that makes me nervous to no end.

This alternative is an injection that smoothes out the animals’ skin (when it’s all full of folds, maggots can hatch and eat the sheep alive). The injection is not perfect—the animals are still stressed out from being handled—but it seems relatively painless, which is a huge step forward in embracing the concept that less pain doesn’t equal no pain).

We won’t break out the champagne yet. In 2004, AWI agreed to end mulesing by 2010, but they’ve been dragging their heels disgracefully. Then they developed a different (but still very painful) type of skin-removal technique called “clip mulesing,” in which big clips are clamped onto lambs’ bottoms so tightly that the flesh dies and falls off, and called it “humane.” Rotting, dying skin. Ewe.

So we raised a ruckus in the clothing retail industry, causing companies like H&M, Perry Ellis, and Adidas to reject all wool from mulesed lambs (including those mulesed using the hideous clips).

The injection, however, just might be a most-welcome forward movement for all those Aussie lambs.

Written by Matt Prescott

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  • gemma says:

    mulesing is to stop the sheep from getting fly blown. have you ever seen a fly blown sheep?!! it is sooo much worse than getting mulsed. its where the fly’s lay their eggs in the sheeps wool and when the eggs hatch the maggots get to feast on the sheep’s flesh while it is still alive. if a fly blown sheep is left un treated it will die a long and painfully tourturous death being eaten alive by maggots. mulesing is the ONLY effective way to prevent this horrible fact from happening. if the readers knew and seen pictures of a fly blown sheep they would understand why we have to do it. thank you for your time. xx

  • Marie-Ann says:

    NO WOOL AT ALL!!!! NO WOOL AT ALL!!!! NO WOOL AT ALL!!!! NO WOOL AT ALL!!!! SHEEP DO NOT AND SHOULD NOT BE PUT IN ANY KIND OF DISCOMFORT AT ALL. SYNTHETICS FAUX PRODUCTS ARE READILY AVAILABLE! TECHNOLOGY CAN BE A WONDERFUL THING!!

  • Lachie says:

    you are all soo friggin stupid and blind!! none of you apart from alison actually have ANY IDEA what so ever of how much pain sheep that have been struck by blowflies are actually in! i live on a farm and have to deal with fly struck sheep and let me tell you misinformed idiots it is NOT PLEASANT. how would you feel if you had maggots crawling around inside your backside eating you alive!!

  • SASHA says:

    ALLEN THIS IS SASHA YOU GOT ME CONFUSED WITH THE OTHER PERSON WHO WROTE THAT STUFF UNDER MINE COMMENT I’M ON YOUR SIDE. I CAN’T STAND TO SEE ANY ANIMAL TO BE HURT. IT WAS THE “FARMER GIRL” THAT WROTE THAT “FLY STRIKE” STUFF NOT ME POSTED BY ALISON. BUT I THINK SHE MEANT TO EDUCATE US ON WHY THIS WAS DONE TO THE POOR LITTLE SHEEP . BUT I SAY IT STILL IS TO CRUEL TO DO THAT PROCEDURE TO THEM. LIKE WE ALL SAY AT PETA.. USE AN ALTERNATE PROCEDURE THAT WILL NOT HURT ANY ANIMAL. ALLENI’M GLAD YOU CARE LIKE I DO ABOUT THE SHEEP AND ALL ANIMALS.

  • Sugar says:

    I’m with Sasha on this one. Mulesing is definately better than a fly strike. And I think you will find the reason the lambs are not given ‘numbing’ drugs is because that would mean more handling which would cause heaps more stress to the animals… which is bad welfare. And while I would like to see a good alternative to mulesing the world wide concern for animals’ welfare is only a recent development in terms of the history of the world so farmers haven’t really had to worry about that aspect of things until a couple of decades ago. Please don’t insult our Aussie farmers they care about the welfare of the sheep. It just so happens that mulesing is or was until very very recentlythe best thing for the sheep at the moment. So maybe you should think about that next time you decide to boycott our sheep industry.

  • Marie-Ann says:

    Wool isn’t necessary in our lives to begin with. There are all kinds of alternative cruel free fabrics that keep us warm etc. Also is lanolin necessary in products. I THINK NOT!!!!

  • kat says:

    this mulesing is very cruel very barbairic even if you do such to prevent infection. you could have bred a sheep that didn’t have to be mulesed in the first place! like to stick a clamp on some supporter’s backside and see how long it takes for thier skin to rot away. Ick.

  • brandie r says:

    I can barely handle seeing a needle going into someones arm or someone getting their blood taken and this story makes me writher and cringe in my seat. How aweful. Ugh. Poor lambies.

  • Amanda M says:

    There is always an alternative and you’re a farmers daughter? What do you farm? Animals? Hmmm….GO TEAM PETA!!!

  • Allen says:

    Sasha raising extra wooly animals sheep in the dry hot Australian climate is like trying to raise polar bears in the desert. They don’t belong there. If sheep die from flystrike it is the farmers who are to blame for putting them in that situation to begin with not the animal rights activists who are trying to get farmers to put a little extra effort into caring for sheep and preventing flystrike without hacking huge chuncks of skin off their bums. Saying that mulesing is less cruel than flystrike is like someone pimping little girls and then saying that giving them a hysterectomy is less cruel than letting a 12 year old get pregnant.

  • rachel says:

    While I understand the reason behind the procedure why in the name of profit can we not at least numb the animal before it is undertaken. We would not circumsize a child without numbing them. Why do we feel the need to put these poor animals through so much pain. It is cruel and unnecessary.

  • Natalie says:

    Dear Alison Nichols I don’t think you know what the word “alternative” means. We aren’t saying “ban mulesing and let them tough it out!” we are saying “develop and use alternatives!” We don’t want sheep to undergo a “fly strike” or whatever you said nor do we want their flesh to be cut off. I think you should actually read the article rather than rant about what you assume it’s about.

  • sarah says:

    ugh that is discusting… why dont they just shear them like in the old times?

  • Barr Barr says:

    they do it because there are folds in the skin of the backside of the sheep particularly Merino sheep. in such a climate as Australia there are lots of flies the flies get under these skin folds bury their ‘eggs’ which hatch maggots which will then eat away at the sheep causing it enormous pain and likely death if not treated

  • nicole says:

    amanda muelsing is cutting the folds of skin off of the upper area of the back legs. this is where urine and faeces would usually collect and be a haven for maggots which eat the lambs alive and usually cause death. meanwhile this clip muelsing seems like it would defeat the purpose i mean what do flies love more than dead rotting flesh.

  • Alison Nichols says:

    Ok i am usaully all for the fur is dead campaign but i am a farmers daughter and you really need to get your facts right on mulesing and lamb marking! If any of you have ever seen a fly blown sheep before and have had to sheer the half dead lamb because it is being eaten from inside out in its rectum by maggots then you will know mulesing is minor compared to this! I have helped crutch a lamb that was fly blown and the wool was crawling on the floor on its own due to the mass number off maggots!!! So dont pull that speach “its barbaric” how about you witness a half dead fly blown sheep and then see what you think. Marking is essential to maintain a working farm. You state we punch holes in their ears your wording in these statesments im sorry but is pathetic! The ears heal quickly faster than a human ear peircing and whilst marking takes place they are given vaccinations and drenches to help the healing process and keep them healthy through the vital winter months. If you would like to obtain pictures of a dying sheep due to fly strike be my guest i will gladly supply you some so you can have a reality check. Mulesing is the humane way to prevent fly strike but if you continue to wish to ban this you are all condemming these little lambs and sheep to a slow and painfull death. I am sure none of you would like to feel yourself covered in maggots being eaten inside out in your rectum. Didnt think so. Thankyou for your time.

  • SASHA says:

    KEEP THE PRESSURE ON THEMPETA ! THE INJECTIONS IS THE BEST IDEA SO FAR. THE OTHER IS JUST AWFUL TOO THAT CLAMP HOW DO THEY THINK A CLIP ON THERE THE SHEEP BOTTOM IS NOT PAINFUL. THE HUMANS OR SHOULD I SAY THE IDIOT THAT COME UP WITH THAT IDEA SHOULD HAVE A CLIP PUT ON THERE BOTTOM AND WAIT FOR THEIR FLESH TO DROP OFF ! I’LL KEEP BOYCOTTING WOOL UNTIL THIS AWFUL ABUSE STOPS !

  • Kelley says:

    So basically they are shooting up sheep bums with botox?????

  • Lordsy says:

    Because without mulesing flies will lay their maggots and they will eat the sheep alive. It a much more painful than just cutting off their tail.

  • ambrose says:

    Mulesing is insane. I read up on it when PETA first started the campaign. They breed sheep who have all these folds in their skin so they can get more wool greedy! Then the sheep are prone to maggot infestations when flies lay eggs in the folds. Instead of not using sheep with extrafolds and instead of dipping the sheep or cutting off the wool around their tails they mules them. It’s just sick greed.

  • Amanda says:

    I don’t get it ? Why do they MULES?? What is this for ??

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