Dear Australian Wool Innovation: Mulesing is Still a Failure

There’s nothing innovative about continuing to hack off the backsides of lambs.

To let the Australian public know the truth about mulesing, PETA is negotiating with an outdoor advertiser to put up a billboard that targets the industry group Australian Wool Innovation (AWI). We plan to place the ad near Boorowa, the home of AWI Chair Wal Merriman’s merino stud farm.

The beautiful spring lambs you can see in paddocks across Australia right now are subjected to an unimaginably painful mutilation. The vast majority of Australian wool farmers still restrain their legs between metal bars and carve huge chunks of skin from their backsides. Meanwhile, New Zealand has been virtually free of mulesing for 10 years.

It’s also been a decade since the Australian wool industry promised to “fast-track” the industry away from mulesing, yet still, 80 per cent of Australian wool comes from lambs who were mulesed, mostly without pain relief.


There’s nothing innovative about continuing to hack off the backsides of lambs. AWI’s failure to take meaningful steps to end mulesing is shameful. Wool will always be a product of suffering.

Even after they are mulesed, sheep continue to suffer for wool production. An exposè of the wool industry in Australia – the source of 90 per cent of the world’s merino wool – revealed that workers punched scared sheep in the face, stamped and stood on their heads and necks, and beat and jabbed them with electric clippers and a hammer. Shearers are often paid by volume, which encourages fast, violent work that can lead to gaping wounds on sheep’s bodies.

You can help by refusing to buy wool of any kind when you sign our Wool-Free Pledge and by shopping for PETA-approved alternative products.

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