And that would be Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), which is (surprise, surprise) reneging on its promise to end mulesing by 2010.
AWI will have had six years to stop a horrific practice that no other country engages in. New Zealand stopped the mulesing mutilation years ago. If AWI does not meet the 2010 deadline, retailers around the world will take action by sourcing wool elsewhere.
AWI has only itself to blame for losing the world market by trying to delay the inevitable. Of course we were spot-on: AWI has chosen not to live up to its word and is still stuck in the 1930s. Australian wool is no longer the standard—it is now a symbol of the way greedy people have behaved by treating thinking, feeling animals as if they were inanimate commodities.
Despite the fact that leading retailers across Europe and North America are refusing to purchase wool from mulesed lambs, the Australian wool industry’s most recent ludicrous scheme is to adopt an equally cruel and painful procedure called “clip mulesing,” in which clips are attached to the folded skin on lambs’ backsides, causing the skin to rot and fall off. Clips are not an alternative to the mulesing mutilation; they are simply a less bloody form of it. We are pleased, however, to see that the wool industry has finally responded to the complaints of dozens of retailers around the world who want to buy only wool from sheep who were not mulesed (not even with clips) and who have asked that wool from clip-mulesed sheep be identified on a mulesing declaration form.
As the Australian Weekly Times wrote, “For an organisation that purports to be a research and marketing body, the decision by Australian Wool Innovation to abandon the mulesing deadline is reckless, unwanted and unhelpful.” This shows that your voices—and those of retailers who are demanding that Australia join the 21st century and stop mutilating lambs—are being heard in Australia.
Please help PETA continue to pressure the Australian government to do the right thing by taking a few short moments to write to Australia’s prime minister, Kevin Rudd, to demand that mulesing be outlawed now. And, if you still wear animals even when so many wonderful alternatives exist, ask yourself why.
Written by Tracy Reiman