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World’s Largest Australian Wool Buyer Pushes for an End to Mulesing Mutilation

Written by PETA | July 15, 2009
theage / CC
Australian Merino Sheep

The pressure is on for the Australian wool industry! Jiangsu Sunshine Group, a $1.8 billion Chinese textile company, is the world’s largest buyer of Australian wool—and it’s calling on the Aussie wool industry put an end to mulesing.

The mulesing mutilation is the practice of slicing chunks of flesh from around sheep’s tails—without any pain relief—to prevent “flystrike” (i.e., to prevent sheep from being eaten alive by maggots in the folds of flesh on their rump). Flystrike is awful, of course, but there are plenty of humane alternatives to mutilation for flystrike prevention that are in use by many wool farmers. In fact, New Zealand has done away with mulesing altogether!

Sunshine’s action will hopefully force folks like Australian Wool Innovation Chair Wal Merriman to abandon this cruel practice once and for all. In a recent article, Merriman thumbed his nose at retailers and consumers by admitting that he will continue to mules his sheep, despite the fact that a growing list of retailers, including H&M, Perry Ellis, Adidas, and many others, want only nonmulesed wool.

Sunshine said in its letter to the Federation of Australian Wool Organisations: “In the last three years, increasing requests have been made from our major international customers to provide product as made from non-mulesed Australian wool due to the strong pressure of the animal liberation movement.”

In other words, keep those cards and letters coming!

Written by Jeff Mackey

Commenting is closed.
  • Shawna Flavell says:

    Robbie While you may take extremely good care of your sheep many farmers do not. On farms where the sheep are numerous and where they are viewed solely as a source of income shearing is a horrific experience involving the gashes bruises and wounds that inevitably result from quick careless hands and sharp shears. Sheep’s wounds are often left untreated and exposed to the elements. Also thank you for pointing out that the threat to sheep from flystrike is very real and very painful. We do believe that anyone with sheep needs to take care and prevent such a horrible thing from happening to these animals but there are many alternatives to mulesing some of which you might practice including selection for less susceptible breeds increased monitoring and treatment insecticides vaccinations topical applications baited traps and improved farmmanagement practices. Unfortunately most wool comes from vast Australian ranches where mulesing is common.

  • Shawna Flavell says:

    Kevin Jackson You should check out our Action Center for tons of ways to get involved httpwww.peta.orgactioncenterindex.asp.

  • Robbie says:

    First off you probably won’t post this and that’s fine. It would just go to show that you don’t want to see both sides. I raise sheep I have done so for as long as I can remember. And I can say I have lost more lambs to flystrike than anything else. Now I don’t practice mulesing but if it would save my lambs than I might look into it. I was on here one other time and read an article where somebody was saying that shearing sheep was actually hurting the sheep it doesn’t. Docking shearing and removal of dags wool contaminated with feces will help to prevent flystrike. I shear my sheep once a year right before summer so they don’t die of a heat stroke or heart attack. When a sheep is sheared they act like a lamb again jumping around and enjoying themselves. Docking a lamb doesn’t hurt it it prevents the spread of infection later on. Please before you go ranting and raving get both sides. I take both sides in to consideration all the time. I’m against animal cruelty but I’m not for throwing our economy in the crapper either.

  • Linda Estrada says:

    I had never heard of this barbaric practice until now. Why must some people with sick minds carry out such cruelty? Someone should do that to them….just once and maybe that will end it. It should be abolished!!!!!

  • David says:

    I seriously don’t get it… this is a step I would think would never come from China. They are the worst of the worst when it comes to fur and related products. I have no idea where this decision came from… but I love it.

  • Kevin Jackson says:

    I would just like to say that I am sickend by the way animals are being treated and today I have decided to do something about it.

  • Carla* says:

    Never will understand mulesing. You’ld think it would increase the chances of “flystrike”. “The Animal Liberation Movement” is just getting stronger sooo… move over heartlessthoughtless people get educated we’re coming in!! Thanks Jiangsu Sunshine Group and to all the thought conscious people who continue to fight the good fight. God Bless!!

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    Perhaps the Sunshine Group can show the world that China can change in regards to what it exports if enough pressure is applied perhaps the flow of fur will be staunched.