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