Thursday, November 11, 2004


Australia: Mulesing of Sheep to be Phased Out; Backlash against PETA

The Australian wool industry has agreed to a 5-year phase-out of mulesing, the practice of removing skin from the backside of farmed sheep in order to prevent the bites and breeding of blowflies. The decision was the result of an emergency meeting among Australia's wool producers, who have been forced to react to the ban on Australian wool by retailer and clothing manufacturer Abercrombie and Fitch. Abercrombie, under pressure from animal rights group PETA, had previously stated it would no longer purchase Australian wool as long as mulesing is being practiced on the country's sheep. Other international retailers such as GAP, Benetton, and Marks and Spencer are also said to be considering bans on Australian wool. For its part, the wool industry is taking legal action against PETA, seeking to prevent the group from "forcing" retailers to boycott Australian wool and to pay for "corrective advertising" in the US.

"Wool Industry to Stop Mulesing," ABC News, 11/9/04

"Mulesing Faces Cut," Herald Sun, 11/9/04 ( website)

"AWI Takes Legal Action Over Wool Boycott," ABC News, 11/10/04