Thirteen years after she protested mulesing in front of the Sydney Opera House, rock ‘n’ roll legend Chrissie Hynde has once again spoken up for sheep by taking part in the New South Wales government’s survey on a proposed bill to ban this archaic mutilation for wool.
Hynde’s contribution to the survey reads as follows:
I protested against the cruel, greedy, for profit only mutilation of sheep when I was in Australia in 2007 on tour with The Pretenders. It seemed at the time there was unanimous support from Australians to end this vile practice, therefore I am surprised and disappointed it still hasn’t been banned. Maybe it’s time for the governing bodies to watch the investigative PETA footage of lambs being butchered alive to refresh one’s memories. If Australia cannot produce wool without incorporating mulesing, perhaps the country shouldn’t be producing wool. My understanding of Australians, on the whole, is that they are caring people and want to see their industries reflect this.
Mulesing should already be history.
Most of the world’s wool comes from Australia, where the legs of lambs are restrained between metal bars and chunks of flesh are cut off their backside with shears, often without any pain relief. This is known as mulesing, a crude attempt to create smoother skin that won’t collect moisture, but the exposed, bloody wounds often become infected. In addition, many sheep who have undergone this painful mutilation still endure slow, agonising deaths from flystrike, the very thing mulesing is supposed to prevent.
When PETA US first exposed this practice to the world back in the early 2000s, the Australian wool industry promised to phase it out by 2010. New Zealand made mulesing illegal in 2018 – yet here we are, a whole decade past the deadline, and the majority of Australian sheep are still suffering because of this cruel procedure.
You can take the survey, too.
In light of the wool industry’s inability to move beyond this issue as promised, the government has established an inquiry into a piece of legislation that would stop mulesing by 2022 and, in the meantime, mandate that pain relief be given to sheep who are subjected to it. The survey takes less than five minutes to complete and can be done by anyone, anywhere in the world. Check out our information page with suggested answers, but please remember that personalised responses will always have the greatest impact.
If passed, this bill would also ensure that sheep and other animals receive pain relief during earmarking, branding, castration, dehorning, and tail-docking.
After 15 years of broken promises from the Australian wool industry, enough is enough. Mulesing must end now!