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Group Calls for Timeline to Phase in Breeding Program That Would Eliminate Mutilation of Lambs
For Immediate Release: July 7, 2010
Contact: Ashley Gonzalez 757-622-7382
Norfolk, Va. -- In light of Julia Gillard's recent appointment as Australian Prime Minister, PETA has sent Gillard an urgent letter asking her to take action to end mulesing - a cruel procedure in which Australian farmers cut chunks of skin from lambs' backsides with gardening shears in a crude attempt to control a maggot infestation called "flystrike". In the letter, PETA asks Gillard to push for a timeline to implement an aggressive breeding program to produce plain-bodied and bare-breech sheep. The breeding program is a humane strategy for preventing flystrike, and experts say that it could end mulesing within two years. PETA's request comes after Australian Wool Innovation reneged on its promise to PETA and international retailers to end mulesing by 2010. As a result, tens of millions of lambs continue to be barbarically mutilated each year.
"The Australian wool industry has repeatedly demonstrated its unwillingness to end lamb mutilations", says PETA President Ingrid E Newkirk. "Prime Minister Gillard should seize the opportunity to show that her government takes the worldwide condemnation of mulesing seriously by pushing for a timeline to end the cruel practice."
A growing number of leading designers and retailers - including Gap Inc, Timberland, Abercrombie & Fitch, Limited Brands, Liz Claiborne, HUGO BOSS and Perry Ellis - have pledged to move away from mulesed wool or have instituted an outright ban on it. Six US trade and business organisations representing textile and apparel retailers, brands, manufacturers and importers recently called for an end to mulesing by 2013.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.
PETA's letter to Prime Minister Julia Gillard follows.
July 7, 2010
Her Excellency Julia GillardPrime Minister of Australia
Dear Madam Prime Minister:
On behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 2 million members and supporters worldwide, I want to congratulate you on becoming prime minister.
We hope that in your new role, you'll spearhead government action to end the mulesing mutilation that's needlessly inflicted on tens of millions of lambs every year. 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. In an April letter to Minister for Agriculture Tony Burke, we asked that the government take action to end mulesing by approving a timeline for a genetic solution, which some forward-thinking farmers are already using. Experts estimate that an aggressive breeding program could end mulesing in just two years.
As you may know, six U.S. trade and business organizations representing textile and apparel retailers, brands, manufacturers, and importers recently released a statement and position paper regarding mulesing and the Australian wool industry. They call for a timeline with measurable milestones that would meet the goal of ending mulesing by 2013. The world is asking Australia to stop abusing lambs in this hideous way.
I hope to hear that the current government under your leadership will prioritize government action by requiring the wool industry to fast-track the transition to plain-bodied or bare-breech sheep, thus ending mulesing mutilations. Thank you.
Very truly yours,
Ingrid E. NewkirkPresident
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