In September 2019, a new bill was introduced in the New South Wales parliament that would see mulesing stopped by 2022 and, in the meantime, mandate that pain relief be given to sheep who are subjected to it. If passed, this bill would also ensure that sheep and other animals receive pain relief during earmarking, branding, castrating, dehorning, and tail-docking. Scroll down and add your name to support the bill.
Most of the world's wool comes from Australia, where lambs are subjected to a horrible mutilation known as mulesing. Their legs are restrained between metal bars, and chunks of flesh are sliced off their backside with shears, sometimes without any pain relief. It's hard to watch, but once you do, you'll understand why this practice needs to be banned immediately.
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Mulesing is a crude attempt to reduce the incidence of a condition known as "flystrike". Most sheep in Australia are merinos, who've been bred to have wrinkly skin, which means more wool per animal and, obviously, more profit. However, this unnatural amount of wool causes their wrinkles to collect moisture, especially under the tail. Attracted to the moisture, flies lay eggs in the folds of skin, and if left unmonitored, the hatched maggots can eat the sheep alive.
Not only is mulesing extremely painful for sheep, the bloody wounds it creates can also take several weeks to heal – and the area can become prone to the same flystrike it was supposed to prevent. Mulesing is simply an old, crude tradition which has no place in modern farming.
It's been two decades since PETA US first exposed the painful practice to the world and a decade since the Australian wool industry promised to "fast-track" mulesing alternatives, yet much of the country's wool still comes from lambs who were painfully mutilated.
The rest of the world has moved on from this archaic practice. The New Zealand government made it illegal under the Animal Welfare (Care and Procedures) Regulations 2018.
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Amendment (Restrictions on Stock Animal Procedures) Bill 2019 has been introduced in the New South Wales parliament. It would see mulesing stopped by 2022 and, in the meantime, mandate that pain relief be given to sheep who are subjected to it. If passed, this bill would also ensure that animals receive pain relief during earmarking, branding, castrating, dehorning, and tail-docking.
This legislation has the potential to alleviate the suffering of millions of sheep and other animals. Will you help them by asking New South Wales Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall to support this bill?
Are you a New South Wales resident? Write to your local MP now to ask them to support this legislation.