Mulesing is a surgical procedure developed in the 1920’s designed to reduce the incidence of flystrike in Australia. Skin is sliced from the buttocks of lambs to scar the skin to prevent wrinkles and wool growth and keep the skin free from faecal and urine stains which attract flies. Skin is also stripped from the sides and the end of the tail stump. Millions of merino lambs are currently mulesed each year. Most will also have their tail cut off and the males will be castrated at the same time. The pain relief used is inadequate.
75% of Australian lambs bred for wool suffer this practice.
Mulesing is unnecessary. There is a genetic solution which eliminates both fly strike and the need for mulesing.
Smooth bodied sheep can be bred which do not suffer from fly strike and do not need mulesing.
Genetics can revolutionise the Australian wool industry and end mulesing cruelty. Wool growers can transform their flocks to smooth bodied sheep in as little as 3-5 years.
There are concerns the board of Australian Wool Innovation, the body that represents the wool industry, have conflicts of interests which explain why mulesing has not been phased out in Australia. Senators in a parliamentary committee on 23 October 2017 have questioned the Chair of AWI over his financial interests in a merino stud with bloodlines that require mulesing; stacking the board with mates who do his bidding; the board’s financial interests in pain relief used during mulesing; and not promoting genetic solutions which eradicate the need for mulesing.
You can help bring about an end to mulesing. Call for Mr Merriman’s resignation and for a commitment to end mulesing in Australia.