Following news that a parliamentary inquiry in New South Wales has failed to recommend ceasing the practice of mulesing sheep in the state, PETA has written to the Mayor of Goulburn, home of the “Big Merino”, and asked permission to erect a new statue for the area – a giant mulesed lamb.
More than 70% of Australia’s wool comes from sheep who are mulesed, a barbaric practice in which workers force live sheep onto their backs, restrain their legs between metal bars, and cut chunks of flesh from their backsides. This is terrifying for prey animals like sheep, who cry out in fear and pain. It also leaves them with open wounds – which, ironically, are prone to flystrike, which mulesing ostensibly aims to prevent.
When PETA US first exposed mulesing to the world back in the early 2000s, the Australian wool industry promised to phase it out by 2010. Since then, numerous celebrities, consumers, fabric buyers, and fashion houses worldwide have called for an end to mulesing.
In 2018, New Zealand has made mulesing illegal, and yet it remains prevalent in Australia.
Surely the industry would welcome a statue designed to inform people about this element of wool production, given how hard it has fought for decades to continue mulesing, even in the face of public outcry and worldwide designer boycotts?
Sheep Need Your Help
Not only does the Australian wool industry mules lambs, it also cuts off their tails and castrates males without any pain relief. Shearers, who are paid per fleece, work roughly and violently, pinning petrified sheep down, punching them in the face with metal clippers, cutting them open, and shoving them down chutes. Over the past six years, PETA’s affiliates have visited 43 farms across New South Wales, South Australia, and Victoria and have found cruel treatment of animals at every single one.
With so many animal-free, environmentally friendly fabrics now available, there is simply no need to continue inflicting so much pain on sheep.
The wool industry and the government have both failed sheep, so it’s up to each of us to act. Now, more than ever, we must vote with our wallets and leave wool out of our wardrobes.