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In the Australian wool industry, farmers cut huge chunks of skin from lambs' backsides using instruments resembling gardening shears or attach painful, vice-like "clips" to their backsides until their skin dies and falls off.
This primitive process, called "mulesing", is a misguided attempt to control flystrike in sheep. It's abominably cruel – and it's not even effective. Recent studies have proved that sheep who are treated with insecticides and not mulesed show a lower prevalence of flystrike than those who are subjected to the mulesing mutilation.
In addition, prestigious retailers and fashion designers around the world – including Abercrombie & Fitch and H&M – have joined the movement to stop buying wool from lambs who have been mulesed.
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However, despite overwhelming support for putting a stop to mulesing, the Australian wool industry continues to drag its feet when it comes to ending the mulesing mutilation. Rather than focusing its efforts on good animal husbandry and humane solutions such as bare-breech breeding, it allows millions of lambs to be partially flayed alive every year.
In addition, many sheep discarded by the Australian wool industry are crammed onto export ships to be sent to the Middle East. Sheep who survive the terrifying voyage often are dragged off trucks by their ears and legs, are tied up and beaten and have their throats slit while they are still conscious.
Please write to Australian Minister for Agriculture right now and ask him to ban mulesing mutilations. Demand that only effective, humane options be used instead, and urge him to put an end to the cruel live-export industry.