Agency Rejects Powerful Anti-Mulesing Billboard

For Immediate Release:

10 August 2020

Advertising Company Refuses to Run Billboard Exposing the Barbaric Practice of Mulesing

Melbourne – A billboard ad by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has been deemed “too graphic” for one out-of-home advertising company, owing to the bloody reality it depicts. The ad, designed to remind people that mulesing remains a cruel and painful practice – despite a new law in Victoria that mandates a small amount of post-procedural pain relief – was rejected on the grounds that the image may be too confronting for viewers. PETA contends that, since millions of sheep are forced to endure this archaic and horrific procedure in the wool industry, those who buy wool should see the truth.

The ad features a picture of a sheep’s bloody backside with the skin hacked off, a common practice in the wool industry, alongside the words “Did your jumper cause a bloody butt? Mulesing: still a real pain in the arse. Wear vegan.”

“If this image is too painful to look at, you can imagine how it must feel to have it done to you,” says PETA spokesperson Emily Rice. “Mandatory pain relief in Victoria is a minuscule step in the right direction. However, we won’t celebrate until this horrific practice is banned for good.”

In today’s wool industry, lambs’ legs are restrained between metal bars and chunks of flesh are cut off their backside with shears, sometimes without any pain relief. This process is known as “mulesing” and is done as a means of preventing flies from laying eggs in the folds of sheep’s skin, something that wouldn’t be a concern if they weren’t bred to have more wool than they need.

When PETA US first exposed the bloody reality of mulesing almost two decades ago, the Australian wool industry promised to phase it out by 2010. New Zealand banned the procedure in 2018, yet the majority of Australian sheep still endure this cruelty. The New South Wales government recently launched an inquiry into a proposed bill that would ban mulesing by 2023; however, Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall says he “will not entertain” the move.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview – encourages compassionate Australians to choose vegan fabrics instead of supporting the cruel wool industry.

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