Mulesing Is A Barbaric Practice That Confronts The Wrong Problem

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Help ban mulesing in Australia and save sheep from being skinned alive


Demand that Australia's Department of Agriculture and Water Resources ban the cruel practice of mulesing once and for all!

Mulesing involves cutting off the flesh of merino sheep's hindquarter's skin folds to prevent blowfly larvae infestations. In larger flocks, blowflies can often become problematic. After hatching, the flies will begin to consume a sheep's flesh in a condition called flystrike, leading to systemic toxaemia and even death within 3 days [1].

Merino sheep are preferred for wool production over other breeds because their excess skin provides more space for more thick wool to grow. But this benefit to textile producers also means the sheep are more vulnerable to flystrike [2]. By mulesing the sheep, the scar tissue grows back smooth and unwrinkled, leaving little room for blowfly eggs to be deposited. While effective in reducing recurring flystrike, mulesing is also cruel and inhumane.

A number of alternatives to mulesing exist, but they have yet to be adopted by sheep farmers. Staggering the timing of shearing and crutching, breeding protocols that result in less wrinkly sheep, or the strategic application of preventative chemical treatments to prevent flystrike are all listed by the RSPCA [3] as viable options of blowfly control that do not involve drastic mutilation. Another alternative simply involves regular inspection of the sheep during the highest blowfly risk periods.

While mulesing is still the leading method of deterring flystrike in parts of Australia, some farmers are standing up for the sheep [4]. The undeniable advantage of taking a genetic, or even chemical, approach to mulesing is not only easier on the sheep, but aligns more with a culture that's beginning to favor compassion over production.

Mulesing is no longer necessary, nor has it ever been appropriate. Sign the petition today and end this horrific practice from causing more pain and suffering.

MORE ON THIS ISSUE:

[1] Animals Australia, Mulesing. Retrieved September 13, 2017, from http://www.animalsaustralia.org/issues/mulesing.php

[2] The Wool Company, Mulesing: Cruel or Kind? Retrieved September 13, 2017, from https://www.thewoolcompany.co.uk/mulesing-cruel-or-kind.html

[3] RSPCA (2016, May 12), What is mulesing and what are the alternatives? Retrieved September 13, 2017, from http://kb.rspca.org.au/What-is-mulesing-and-what-are-the-alternatives_113.html

[4] Michael Cavanagh (2016, August 7), Ending 'cruel' practice of mulesing would help wool is view of a southern New South Wales farmer. Retrieved September 13, 2017, from http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2016-08-08/non-mulesed-sheep-thefuture-of-wool-industry-says-farmer/7691022

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The Petition:

Dear Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources,

The usefulness of mulesing is far outweighed by the pain and suffering it causes countless sheep, not to mention the many viable alternatives for blowfly control that exist today.

Apart from staggering the timing of shearing and crutching, breeding protocols that result in less wrinkly merino sheep, or the strategic application of preventative chemical treatments to prevent flystrike, regular inspections of sheep during the highest blowfly risk periods can also drastically reduce occurrences of blowfly infestation.

It's imperative that this cruel practice be banned immediately. The health and wellbeing of Australian sheep should be more important than the allowance of barbaric and unsanitary mutilation.

Mulesing is no longer necessary, nor has it ever been appropriate. I demand you ban mulesing throughout Australia today.

Sincerely,

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Signatures: