Target: Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Minister for Agriculture Tony Burke.
Goal: Ask the Australian government to put an end to the brutal mutilation of innocent sheep.
Australia may be known for its scenic beauty and unique wildlife such as koala bears, however, there is a grotesque practice that happens on farms everyday involving the brutal mutilation of innocent sheep. Without the benefit of a single drop of anesthesia or pain killers, farmers lay the sheep down and slice off big chunks of their backsides, while the sheep scream in pain. This is done for a simple reason: profits.
These sheep provide much of the world’s merino wool supply and are bred to have excessively wrinkly skin, which is susceptible to maggot infestations or “flystrike”. This procedure, called mulesing, is carried out while placing the lamb or young sheep in restraint and using metal shears to cut away excess wrinkled skin in the animal’s rump area, sometimes down to the top of its hind legs. The tail is also docked and the remaining stump is skinned. The reason for this practice is to create smoother skin (by pulling the wrinkled skin tight over the wound) and thus, prevent flystrike. The sad truth is that mulesing has not been proven to consistently reduce flystrike. In many cases, the sheep still suffer from flystrike and even worse, infection from the bloody wounds.The Australian government does not require any anesthesia or painkillers to be used during this procedure. The mulesed animals are typically released and left on their own to heal – which usually takes several weeks.
There are better alternatives to mulesing. Farmers can breed sheep with less wrinkly skin and can apply a combination of diet regulation and/or spray washing to reduce flystrike. In addition, there are methods such as applying topical protein-based treatments to tighten skin in the breach area, biological control of flies, and plastic clips that help tighten skin – all of which are equally, if not more effective.
It’s time to speak up against this barbaric practice. Sign this petition to send a message to Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Minister for Agriculture Tony Burke asking the government to approve a timeline to end mulesing. You can also go to Australia’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/SeeAustralia) and post a comment asking them to stop this cruel practice.
Dear Prime Minister Gillard and Minister for Agriculture Tony Burke,
Australia is home to beautiful beaches, amazing wilderness, and the great outback. However, the cruel practice of mulesing that involves mutilation of innocent sheep needs to stop. Mulesing may be a low cost method of increasing wool supply and reducing flystrike infections, however, it has not been proven to be consistently effective. It also inflicts horrific suffering on these gentle and innocent animals that have no voice to speak out against this cruelty.
These sheep provide a large quantity of the world’s merino wool supply, however, other countries such as South Africa that produce merino wool do not use this practice. Reliable research that has been proven effective in combating flystrike – topical protein-based treatments that tighten skin in the breach area, biological control of the flies, and plastic clips on the sheep’s skin folds that help remove the skin in a more humane manner – have been by-passed because of their higher cost.
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