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Score! Adidas Helps Australian Sheep!

Written by PETA | June 4, 2008

Adidas—the second-largest sporting-goods manufacturer in the world—has just taken steps to reduce the suffering of sheep in its supply chain. Following nearly four months of discussions with PETA, Adidas has now decided to boycott all wool from mulesed lambs—including those mulesed using clips.Frank Henke, Global Director of Social and Environmental Affairs for Adidas, told PETA: “Adidas has given a clear briefing to its development and sourcing teams to not use merino wool from sources where mulesing practices are applied. Clip-mulesing is also rejected by our internal policy. … [W]e would select another material unless we obtain clear confirmation from the source that mulesing practices were stopped.” As some readers might know, mulesing is a standard mutilation used by Australian woolgrowers in which lambs have huge chunks of skin and flesh carved from their backsides with big, metal shears (like gardening shears). This gruesome procedure is used in a misguided attempt to protect sheep from maggot infestation, despite the fact that humane methods (e.g., in which animals’ skin isn’t removed) exist. In an attempt to win back clothing retailers that are boycotting Australian wool over this issue, some farmers have started using clips to mules their animals. Clip mulesing involves clamping clips onto the animals’ skin so tightly that the skin dies and falls off. This method still causes pain, but is not bloody (and therefore less visually shocking), which lead the Australian wool industry to hope that it would be acceptable to clothing retailers. But Adidas—like HUGO BOSS, Perry Ellis, H&M, and many other companies—is not buying this new mutilation … which is great news, since it will help animals today and push the Australian wool industry to stop all forms of mulesing once and for all.This decision by Adidas comes just one week after Australia’s Federal Minister for Agriculture, Tony Burke, wrote a publicized letter to Adidas thanking it for supporting Australian wool and trying to justify the mulesing mutilation to them. Bad timing, Mr. Burke. Three cheers for Adidas for refusing to support unnecessary and cruel lamb mutilations down under! You can help! Take a few seconds to sign our petition urging the Australian Prime Minister to help put an end to mulesing immediately. –MattPosted by Matt Prescott, Assistant Director of Corporate Affairs

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  • Junko M says:

    Okay I signed and edited and sent both petitions. Thanks for the oppotunity to make my voice heard. I used to be such a meatlover. I cannot believe it myself but PETA has made a great progress in motivating me to avoid all meat or at the least curve my cravings whenever it attacks me. I never thought sheep were treated this way in Australia. I am never buying anything with Australian wool in it. I’ll be checking up on the progress of this issue and buy only the sheepfriendly products.

  • Veronica says:

    No need to mulese thelambs cannot some medicine suffice and are they still prone to this affliction if looked after? Obviously moderation in production and use of wool garments is the right thing maybe the sheep are being overshorn once a year in the summer might suffice! synthetics are a cost on the environment too and wool is nicer with some treatment currently out of a Melbourne company very fine wool with good wearing properties! Is the problem with sheep too many housing estates and more shopping malls encroaching on the countryside which should be left the Developers do not take all factors into account and should be told to cease they know not!

  • beatrix says:

    Tucker do you really believe that using synthetic materials will improve the lot of animals. I do not approve of poor animal husbandry practices but I certainly do not approve of large scale environmental pollution either. The petrochemical industry does massive damage both directly and indirectly to the environment and that includes native animal habitat. As for those of you who haven’t seen kangaroos in Australia get out of the cities and have a look about… I live 60km from a state capital and every night as I drive home from work I dodge them they are driven to grazing on the side of the roads by the drought many of them are clearly ill or malnourished because of the drought or exposure to herbicides and insecticides in the food chain and their road side deaths further endanger the raptors and other scavengers who feed on the carcasses. Australia is in drought and the continent cannot sustain the current stock levels… both native and introduced. Do those of you not faced with living with this issue on a daily basis imagine we think seeing animals starving to death is OK. It is not OK but it is inevitable if regulated culls do not occur. Those of us who live in this environment and care passionately about our native animals do not want to see them stave to death. Get informed and focus your spleen on those who clear native habitat and introduce harmful chemicals into the ecosystem. They are the real villains.

  • Beatrix says:

    Whilst mulesing is an ugly practise and certainly not fun for the lambs fly strike is fatal. The alternatives are 1 repeated chemical treatments with insecticides or 2genetic modification and selective breeding. The only third option is euthanasia for all the merinos in Australia. I see elsewhere some concerns raised about shearing… sheep die of heat exhaustion if they aren’t shorn. And as for the suggestion that wool be phased out in favor of synthetic fibers is PETA a cover organization for the oil cartels?

  • marlene greenberg says:

    This needs much more attention then a blog site . They need to know the world is watching and a full boycott done …bill boards ….public awareness…. protest against Australia tourism etc. they will stop if the money is cute off! SKECHERS uses synthetics wherever they can


    Totally agree with comments of Love sheep. So called PETA is yet again misinformed and has created a scare campaign by obvious incorrect information. As LOVESHEEP stated the shears used in muelsing are more akin to a surgical instrument and causes very little pain. So called PETA are hell bent on killing sheep by having them eaten from the inside out until they die a slow and painful death. Unfortunately due to so called PETA I have now had to personally boycott ADIDAS and HUGO BOSS amongst others and I urge others to do the same until they realize the distruction and inhumane treatment of animals that so called PETA are causing.

  • Woolgrower says:

    I totally agree with Lovesheep. I hate to see animal cruelty but I believe mulesing is necessary. Farmers would not go to the huge and gruelling task of mulesing 1000’s of their sheep if it were not for a greater cause prevention of slow and agonising death from maggots. I think it is unfair that celebrities and clothing companies are making boycott decisions without fully researching why this practice is done in the first place. Whilst there are currently alternative methods they are NOT as effective as mulesing. And until one such practice becomes equally effective it is pointless banning mulesing as sheep will end up suffering the most horrific death imaginable. Seeing and SMELLING sheep being eaten alive by maggots is one of the most atrocious things I have ever witnessed…please consider the impact of not mulesing sheep. Merino Wool is a wonderful natural regenerative fibre. The wool grows back year after year we love our sheep they are our livelihood and our business partners! Come to outback Australia and witness for yourselves the wonderful people here and our wonderful way of life..we are not inhumane! Just a small note about roos currently far west NSW has so many kangaroos it is a nightmare trying to dodge them whilst driving on the open road believe me I have about 10 near misses every 20km stretch of road whenever driving at night. Sure you won’t see roos in the cities but Australia is a massive country and the cities only take up the coastlines out west the roos are everywhere and definatley not near extinction! In fact they are suffering from the drought also. There is nothing for them to eat were it not for farmers putting hay out for their sheep and cattle the kangaroos out our way would have starved to death by now.

  • Lovesheep says:

    As a woolgrower I am disturbed by the description of mulesing that you are using to mislead the public. “Huge chunks of skin and flesh carved from the backsides” only skin and a small amount too is removed in a narrow strip either side of the breech of the lamb. There is actually little blood from the woundas no veins or arteries are severed. “Big metal shears like gardening shears” the shears are quite small purposebuilt and razor sharp the blades are angled to the handle quite unlike the old dagging shears commonly used around gardens. Mulesing is painful a distasteful job for the operator but it is done in seconds that lamb has the best protection against fly strike for the rest of his life. At the same time it is a common practice to vaccinate him against tetanus infection apply a dressing to promote healing of the wound protect it from all kinds of flies. That sheep spends his life grazing peacefully in his paddock producing his fabulous ecofriendly fibre. Which is what he likes sheep hate too much handling he only needs to be brought in for shearing a mid season routine crutching wigging ringing. His unmulesed counterpart spends his life with a urine faeces stained breech at great risk of flystrike as this is the major attractant for blowflies. He is routinely chased around by humans dogs as he needs so much monitoring for flystrike yarded several times to be soaked in poisonous chemical or crutching. Crutching is only a very shortterm fix the wool grows back very quickly. In spite of every care he is still likely to get struck. Shearers hate unmulesed sheep because of the pissy shitty stain right to their skin they are very difficult to shear often get cut in the process. This is an unhappy sheep plagued forever by flies anything else attracted to a stink he is an unproductive sheep. Fly strike kills mulesing saves lives it is very rare for lambs to die ater this procedure. I have never wept over a mulesed lamb but have cried buckets over the pathetic sight of a sheep with a bum full of maggots often past help having to be destroyed. Also why would Ingrid Newkirk need to cuddle a mulesed lamb? This would probably be more distressing to the lamb than the actual operation all the little creature wants is to find its mother it is cruel to prevent it from doing so.

  • Sheridan says:

    Generally speaking I sympathise with PETA’s opposition to animal cruelty. However in the case of mulesing I feel that they are speaking blindly and encouraging others to do the same. Mulesing may be cruel but it is certainly less cruel than the sheep getting flystrike. Even more than this PETA has chosen to ignore that it is being phased out by 2010 less than two years away. Changes like this cannot happen overnight. Australia’s farmers are in a bleak enough situation as it is with drought and such little returns for their labours. They are already making changes. Why will PETA not let these farmers make the changes as they can? Surely forcing the entire Australian wool industry out of business due to unreasonable demands is cruelty to people?

  • Simon Validzic says:

    Re comment by Lloyd Stevens I used to live in Australia from 1970 to 1992 and never sam a single kangaroo with the exception of those at the Royal Melbourne Zoo. So much for their population being in plague proportions. There is only one species with a population problem and that can be solved by cutting family allowance to those with more than 2 children and eliminating the “baby bonus”. There is no need for new urban sprawl. Kangaroos managed to control their populations for millions of years before humans arrived. Regarding “research” for years we have been told that it is impossible to live without meat at school in the 1970s1980s it was not unusual for the teacher to ridicule anybody who liked animals in front of the whole class at university one has to be accepted by te others in a research group. Anybody with ideas that went against the status quo was subjected to a certain kind of mobbing. Since I am against the white colonization of Australia and America I returned to my country of origin Croatia in 1992 and encourage others to do the same.

  • Paul Orrock says:

    Will Adidas also cancel out its current sponsorship of the the New Zealand All Blacks Rugby Team Adidas is a major sponsor. Currently there are approx 2 million Merino class sheep in NZ with approx 50 of farmers in NZ still using the mulesing practice specifically on Merino sheep. Although NZ have commited to a 2010 deadline to meet a deadline to the ending of mulesing Australia have also agreed to this timetable. So will Adidas remove itself from supporting and sponsoring one of NZ’s if not NZ’s major icon…. Would be interesting to see what the response would be…. I can’t see myself waiting for one from Adidas though.

  • Lloyd Stevens says:

    Before any one jumps up and down that I am a kangaroo killer i have retained 80 of the trees on my property as it is part of a Koala corridor in my suburb. This corridor is not offically recognised by the local government authority and as such there are no controls to protect it yet I take great joy in watching the newly arrived young koalas use my trees as part of their development process for the last 12 years. However some of the comments regarding museling and killing of Kangaroos shows how little some of your organisations members know about Australian environmental conditions. Australia has a plague situation with Kangaroos they mutliple 10 fold in times of drought working on the premise that 9 out of ten will starve to death or get hit by cars on the highways in search of food allowing one to survive. Please take the time to properly research before you comment.

  • Tucker says:


  • steve says:

    This is with reference to the Australian wool boycott. I am a environmentalist that is being hounded by the Australian corporates since several years. I would like to know of others with similar problems. Yours sincerely Steve

  • Simon Validzic says:

    Although this is a positive move it is unacceptable that Adidas is the largest user of kangaroo skin in the world. The kangaroo killing industry is the largest massacre of wild animals in the world similar to the extermination of the bison in America at the end of the 19th century and both of these countries almost exterminated their indigenous people. Kangaroo skin is even more responsible for making the killing profitable than the consumption of kangaroo meat. Unlike the seal slaughter which is being campaigned against by a lot of professional organizations in America the campaign against the kangaroo massacre is much less organized and there are no “oneclick” online letters that activists can send so I had to make my own. The letters are not editable to prevent people from sending “silly” letters based on advice that I received. There are 3 letters here is a link to one of the letters httpwww.prijateljizivotinja.hrindex.en.php?id921 The other 2 letters can also be found there.

  • Cono says:

    great! but does is Adidas perfume… tested on animals?

  • Amy Lamb says:

    This is a step in the right direction. Hopefully leaps and bounds well be made in the near future to stop the exploitation of animals not only by adidas but by all shoe and clothing manufacturers!

  • Candy says:

    Thank you thank you THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jasmine says:

    It is fabulous to see adidas is helping innocent sheep.

  • lynda downie says:

    Great! Thanks Adidas! But like other posters said they’re still using leather. One step at a time I guess. hopefully not in leather

  • lucas s says:

    great news! the list of corporations joining the boycott is growing! however adidas does kill tons of animals for their leather. even kangaroos for their soccer shoes. “adidas killing for kicks” its still good to see them starting to change.

  • j says:

    too bad they’re still making shoes out of kangaroos….