Tell the Australian Wool Industry to Stop Mutilating Sheep

Target: Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Australian Minister for Agriculture Joe Ludwig

Goal: Ban the cruel practice of mulesing lambs in the Australian wool industry.

Australia continues to mutilate sheep used for wool in the cruel practice of mulesing. This archaic tradition consists of chopping off  skin and flesh off the back end of a lamb.  The animal is not given any anesthetic or treatment for the open flesh wound it receives. Farmers once believed this was an effective tool for preventing flystrike, a condition in which sheep are infested with maggots. The truth is, there are more humane methods in which farmers have had great success in preventing this condition.

Australia’s wool industry had promised to end this atrocious practice by the end of 2010.  Farmers have since gone back on their word and re-established this absurd ritual.  Alternatives exist, including the breeding of sheep with skin that is less wrinkly.  This would allow the issue to be eliminated without hacking off part of the live, defenseless sheep.  Experts have estimated that it would only take about 2 years for the Australian wool industry to completely transition to this less wrinkly sheep if breeding plans started today.

We must stress our severe disappointment that this brutal tradition has resurfaced in Australia’s wool industry.  With effective alternatives available, there is no excuse for the continued mutilation of these gentle creatures.  The wool industry has proven that they cannot be trusted with promises of humane treatment of animals, now we must urge Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Minister for Agriculture’s Joe Ludwig to get involved.  It is time for the Government to phase out the barbaric practice of mulesing.


Dear Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Minister for Agriculture Joe Ludwig,

It is deeply disturbing to hear that Australia’s wool farmers have gone against their word and continued the cruel practice of mulesing their sheep. They had pledged to end this barbaric ritual by the end of 2010 yet they have failed to phase out this practice. The despicable act of chopping flesh off a living lamb’s backside in order to prevent flystrike is no longer necessary as there are viable alternatives.

If a breeding program were implemented today, within 2 years Australian farmers could completely replace their flocks with sheep that have less wrinkles than their counterparts, thereby eliminating the issue entirely. The “bare-bodied” and “bare-breech” sheep are two examples of breeds that are not susceptible to flystrike given their smoother skin. When other options are available and feasible, there is no excuse for cruelty based on tradition.

Despite their commitment to end this cruelty, the Australian wool industry has done nothing to enact change within this issue. We are now asking you to step in and enforce the phasing out of the archaic ritual of mulesing.  Please end the torture of these gentle creatures. Millions of sheep are depending on you.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Fruggo via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. J Davidson says:

    Like having your hair ripped off your head. Wearing wool is as bad as wearing fur.

  2. stop this horrific kiiling now….

  3. yvonne marie green says:

    This is haunting! How could the farmers do it? Why would they want to intentionally hurt, torture, & scar these beautiful creatures?! They don’t care… which is downright evil! Don’t buy wool! God Bless!

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