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For years Merino sheep in Australia have undergone the horrific act of “mulesing” - a procedure whereby the skin around the tail of a sheep is removed without anaesthesia. This is done to reduce “flystrike” whereby flies feed on the sheeps’ tissue in this area. After a long time working to put a stop to this, recently some positive steps have been taken as PETA pressed this home, and Swedish current affairs program Kalla Fakta (Cold Facts) exposed this practice and sought to stop Swedish clothing companies from buying wool from such animals. High street chain H&M is one such store that has boycotted Australian wool.

The program will now be aired in other European countries and the subject has even reached the European Commission where it will be discussed. Sweden’s Minister of Agriculture wants to impose a European-wide ban on importing of Australian wool. 19 clothing companies in Sweden now also support this boycott.

Being vegetarian, I wouldn’t dream of eating meat, and don’t wear leather, but we need to think further about the consumer choices we make, and the facts behind them. A lamb which is mulesed undergoes pain with no painkillers, and no anaesthetic to pay for our cheaper clothes. This is unacceptable and should and must be stopped. Australian wool is not “green consumption”. This practice has been phased out in New Zealand, so the fact is that there is a solution. It may cost more, but what price can be placed on pain to an animal which doesn’t deserve it, or the richest countries in the world saving a few dollars on another sweater? 

One Response

  1. As an Australian farmer I can assure you none of these issues are simple.
    I strongly recomend you look at the following web site where you can actually make a difference on this issue as a consumer.

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