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In Australia, rural farmers are taking part in a practice called mulesing that involves painfully mutilating lambs and sheep. An infestation of maggots has taken hold of many sheep populations on Australian farms, and farmers' first line of defense is to slice large portions of skin off of the poor animals in attempts to rid them of the pests. No anesthetics are used in this process and the lambs are often permanently wounded. They can even bleed to death.
The saddest part about this appalling practice is that alternatives exist. One such way is to breed sheep that don't possess as wrinkly skin so that the flies that lay the eggs don't have anywhere to hide on their bodies.
Write to Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott asking him to require farmers to begin breeding tactics that will make the lambs' skin less accommodating for the flies so that no more innocent sheep are unnecessarily mutilated.
Dear Prime Minister Tony Abbott,
I was appalled to learn of the lamb mutilation that's taking place on farms in Australia. It's utterly wrong and inhumane to continue a process that renders these creatures wounded and bloody. Mulesing is so cruel that the lambs aren't even given an anesthetic before the procedure takes place. They also run the risk of bleeding to death.
I realize the dangers of allowing a pest to run rampant on a farm's animal population, but the reality is that there are alternatives to mulesing that are not currently being utilized as much as they could be.
Sheepskin is often wrinkly and prone to folding, which is what attracts the flies — it's a warm place to lay their eggs. But, with some time and effort, farmers are able to breed sheep that do not possess such wrinkly skin.
I am writing to ask that you require sheep farmers to adapt advanced breeding techniques that will eventually phase out mulesing altogether.