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.
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.
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Many producers of merino wool have already taken the right step and no longer allow this outdated practice.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: https://action.hsi.org.au/page/47045/petition/1
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