Day: September 5, 2020

The campaign: wool with butt

This is the story of a chic, fluffy wool sweater. It belonged to a lamb. And this little lamb had a butt.

They once lived in Australia, which is where 90% of the fine wool used in the clothing industry worldwide comes from.
But the fluffy lambs have natural enemies. Flies that lay their eggs in the many folds of skin around the lamb’s butts. Parasites.

Mulesing / ˈmjuːlziŋ / is the method that wool producers want to prevent this fly infestation.

Australia | 2017 | Sheep and lambs on a farm with mulesing practice. Mulesing is the removal of strips of wool-bearing skin from around the breech (buttocks) of a sheep to prevent flystrike (myiasis). Here: mulesing practice.

They strap on the little lamb, who is a few weeks old, and cut off the skin around his but. This is done with scissors and usually without anesthesia.

Australia | 2017 |  Here: Mulesed lambs next to their mother sheep

The bleeding lamb runs back to his flock in shock. In many cases, despite the mutilation, the flies come back.
The lamb suffers for our clothing. The wool sweater was once part of a living being with emotions, fear, and pain.

But there is a solution: sheep that are naturally less prone to fly attacks.
Switching to these sheep is an expense for wool producers, but it is feasible.

Result: “Wool with butt”
The more people ask for “wool with butt”, the more brands will fall back on this wool. And no fluffy lamb has to endure mulesing anymore.
Do you only consider “wool with butt?



(Petition text, also as information): Very few people know that part of a sheep’s butt was cut away without anesthesia to make your woolen sweater or coat. In fact, this is a common practice on the many sheep farms where merino sheep live for wool production.

But there are already painless alternatives.

Much of the wool used by international clothing brands comes from Australian sheep. These suffer from a problem: in recent years they have been bred to have as many skin folds as possible. Because it was assumed that a lot of skin folds meant more wool.

It is precisely these skin folds that become a problem for animals.

Fly maggots settle in the region around the butt and cause painful inflammation and can even be fatal.
The farmers, therefore, resort to so-called mulesing: In this practice, large folds or strips of skin are cut away from the butt with knives. Without anesthesia and in tremendous pain!

However, there are already alternative methods that make mulesing superfluous and can curb fly maggot infestation without pain and trauma to the animals.

Many consumers are unaware that by buying merino wool clothing they are supporting the cruel process of mulesing.

Many producers of merino wool have already taken the right step and no longer allow this outdated practice. However, the rest of the industry has to follow suit. The time has come for more brands to step up their supply chain and get rid of mulesing.

With your signature, call on clothing brands to work with the wool industry to end the cruel practice of mulesing. Together we can rethink the industry and save countless sheep from the pain.

Thank you for signing our petition


One more Petition on the same subject but from Humane Society International:


And I mean…New Zealand introduced a ban on mulesing on October 1, 2018.
In Australia, there is only a voluntary ban in which each sheep farmer can decide for himself whether his sheep are mulched or not.

Many large fashion chains, including H&M, Hugo Boss, and Adidas, distance themselves from “mulesing wool”.
However, I wonder how these many and large chains can control this.

Australia is the world’s largest wool exporter, so it cannot be guaranteed whether wool that comes from this country is really mulesing-free or not.

This animal suffering can be ended for good by not buying wool.

Materials such as organic cotton, modal, hemp, or polyester fleece also keep us warm and are also a great alternative for knitting enthusiasts.

My best regards to all, Venus

UK (England): Stag hunt handed taxpayer-backed £50,000 coronavirus loan and £10,000 grant.

The Devon and Somerset Staghounds met three times a week before the coronavirus lockdown

The Devon and Somerset Staghounds met three times a week before the coronavirus lockdown(iStock)

WAV Comment – I think we can speak for the majority of UK citizens who will be very bummed off when they hear about this.  Ex hard working older folk around the country cannot afford to pay a TV license; and yet government money is handed out like sweets to hunt scum.  There is something wrong big time ! – and its called ‘a government’.

Stag hunt handed taxpayer-backed £50,000 coronavirus loan and £10,000 grant

Exclusive: Numerous hunts around UK believed to have used government lending schemes during pandemic

Jane Dalton@JournoJane

2 days ago

A stag hunt has been handed a £10,000 grant and a £50,000 loan from taxpayer-backed schemes that help struggling businesses survive the coronavirus pandemic.

The Devon and Somerset Staghounds is understood to be one of a number of hunts that have won grants or taken out loans through government programmes during the Covid-19 crisis.

During lockdown, hunts have been unable to carry out their usual fundraising activities such as point-to-point horseracing, which pays for expenses such as hound kennels and staff wages.

The Devon and Somerset pack – which rides on horseback to chase and shoot deer – earlier this year applied to its local district council for £10,000 of public cash, which it was awarded, a hunt report revealed.

The hunt, which already had £40,000 in bank accounts, does not have to repay the grant.

Local authorities administer emergency grants for businesses in England, through the small business grant fund and the discretionary grant fund, set up to try to keep traders afloat as economic activity crashed.

The Devon and Somerset Staghounds also used the government “bounce back” loan scheme to borrow £50,000.

The scheme is aimed at businesses that are losing income because of the Covid-19 outbreak. The borrower does not have to make any repayments for the first 12 months, during which the loan is interest-free.

The pack said its income from April to June had been down by 34 per cent on the same period last year but that some of its lost income had been replaced by the £10,000 grant from Somerset West and Taunton district council.

The report by the masters states: “The hunt has taken advantage of a government-backed unsecured Bounce Back loan of £50,000, which is free money for 12 months. This money will be paid back before the interest-free 12-month period ends.

“The money will sit as a form of overdraft facility should it be needed during the next year. Excluding this loan, the hunt has £30,000 in the bank plus a further £10,000 sitting in the Hunt Club account.”

about:blank about:blank javascript:void(0) The League Against Cruel Sports says it understands that hunting groups have encouraged packs to apply for government support to to recover lost income during the pandemic, and that they have widely been accepted.

“Most hunts trade as companies or commercial organisations that make a profit,” said spokeswoman Emma Judd.

Somerset Wildlife Crime, a group that monitors and reports hunts, illegal badger persecution, trapping, snaring and poaching on Exmoor, told supporters: “Bet you’re all delighted to know your council tax is propping up the stag hunts.”

Although the Hunting Act 2004 outlawed the hunting of wild mammals with dogs, it allows hunters to use up to two dogs to hunt wild animals for “observation and study”.

The Devon and Somerset uses this legal exemption to chase deer across Exmoor and the Quantock Hills, helped by supporters in vehicles, before shooting them, insisting it is not illegally hunting for sport.

The group, which usually meets three times a week in season, says it has the support of farmers and landowners in managing the large deer herd on Exmoor.

Dozens of social-media users were outraged at the grant and loan.

One Facebook user commented: “Money should go into public services – never right.”

Others argued residents should withhold some of their council tax.

One said: “Outrageous when we have so many people needing help at this time.”

The Independent has asked the Devon and Somerset Staghounds to comment on the grant and the loan, and has asked the Countryside Alliance to clarify how many hunts in the UK have been given coronavirus support loans.

The Independent also asked Somerset West and Taunton district council on what basis the £10,000 grant was awarded.

None of the three groups had responded before publication.

Australia gave endangered birds to secretive German ‘zoo’, ignoring warnings.

File photo of a Carnaby’s black cockatoo

Australia’s environment department gave permission for 232 birds to be exported to Germany, including threatened species such as Carnaby’s black cockatoos. Photograph: blickwinkel/Alamy.

Australia’s environment minister orders investigation into export of hundreds of endangered parrots

Sussan Ley announces audit after Guardian Australia revealed her department allowed the birds to be exported to Germany

The environment minister, Sussan Ley, has appointed an auditor to investigate her own department over the export of hundreds of native and endangered parrots to Germany over a three-year period.

Guardian Australia revealed in 2018 that the Australian government permitted the export of hundreds of birds to a German organisation despite concerns they were being offered for sale rather than exhibited.

The Berlin-based Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots (ACTP) received permission to receive 232 birds between 2015 and November 2018. It was more than 80% of all the live native birds legally exported from Australia in the same period.

Australia gave endangered birds to secretive German ‘zoo’, ignoring warnings

The exports included threatened species such as Carnaby’s and Baudin’s black cockatoos, worth tens of thousands of dollars each.

Ley said on Wednesday she had asked the secretary of the department of agriculture, water and environment, Andrew Metcalfe, to launch an independent investigation into all decisions by officials relating to the export of native and exotic birds, specifically those that went to the ACTP. Financial services firm KPMG is conducting the audit.

She said Australians needed to be able to have faith that the system was protecting wildlife. “I am disgusted by suggestions of native animals being sold overseas for exhibition, and then actually being used for profit,” Ley said.

The review will examine management of native bird exports, the circumstances in which permits were issued allowing exports to ACTP, and the department’s capacity to regulate the system.

Guardian Australia’s investigation revealed the environment department approved the transfer of more than 200 birds to Berlin over three years on the grounds they would be used for a zoo exhibition despite the organisation having no facilities that were freely open to the public.

Private messages on social media showed native Australian birds apparently from ACTP had been offered for sale for hundreds of thousands of dollars. The German federal agency for nature conservation said at the time it was aware of those offers. With respect to advertisements for a pair of glossy black cockatoos imported from Australia by ACTP it said it had looked into the offers and found the birds had been legally imported and bred, and there were no limits on trade.

Both Australia and Germany are signatories to the convention on international trade in endangered species (Cites), which governs the importing and exporting of rare and endangered birds.

Australian law says no native species can be exported for commercial purposes.

‘A legitimate zoo?’ How an obscure German group cornered global trade in endangered parrots

The parrots in this case were purchased legally from local breeders and birdkeepers, and exported after the environment department recognised ACTP as a zoo.

The species exported included glossy black cockatoos, yellow-tailed black cockatoos, and a variety of lorikeets.

Multiple emails from the Australian environment department to ACTP, obtained by Guardian Australia under freedom of information laws, revealed concerns that exported birds, or their offspring, would be sold.

They showed department officials repeatedly relied on statements written by Cites officials at the German federal agency for nature conservation, and by ACTP itself, to verify the nature of the organisation.

Departmental correspondence noted that the Australian aviculture industry had expressed concerns about the number of birds sent to ACTP. A briefing addressing these concerns was sent to the then environment minister, Josh Frydenberg, in October 2017.

Responding to the previous investigation the head of ACTP said the organisation was “extremely careful to follow all the rules and regulations set by both our German authorities and those of the other countries whom we deal with”. He accused Guardian Australia of harassing ACTP associates and fabricating stories about the organisation

The environment department told Guardian Australia in May that its inquiries had not uncovered any evidence of breaches of permit conditions or international environmental law.

Ley said on Wednesday that she did not know whether there had been breaches, but there had been “too much conjecture for too long”.

“We need to put a line under it once and for all,” she said. “If there are lessons to be learned, we need to learn them. Ultimately, I want people to have confidence in the process.”

The Queensland Coalition MP Warren Entsch, who raised concerns about the issue as early as 2017 and has repeatedly called for an independent investigation, welcomed Ley’s decision and said an audit was long overdue.

“What I want to come out of this review is that we return integrity to the process of zoo to zoo transfers,” Entsch said. “And I want the officers that facilitated this process to be held accountable.”