Fashion Giant ‘George’ Pledges Not To Sell Wool From Mutilated Australian Sheep

Another Retailer Joins PETA in Fight to Stop ‘Mulesing’ of Lambs

For Immediate Release:
19 January 2005

Andrew Butler 020 7357 9229, ext. 230
Jodi Ruckley 020 7357 9229, ext. 234

London – After reviewing correspondence and video footage from PETA showing the cruel treatment of lambs and sheep by the Australian wool industry, George – the UK-based clothing brand that has taken the fashion world by storm – has taken pains to track the sources of its wool and has now given assurances that the company will not purchase Australian wool from producers that mutilate lambs in a horrific procedure called “mulesing”, in which farmers use gardening shears to cut huge chunks of flesh from the animals’ hindquarters – without any painkillers – in a crude attempt to reduce maggot infestation.

International retailer Abercrombie & Fitch was the first major company to join the boycott two months ago. New Look has also confirmed that it does not sell cruelly obtained Australian wool. PETA has let George know that the company’s assurances will be welcomed by shoppers who do not wish to support horrific cruelty in the Australian wool trade.

Founded 15 years ago, George at ASDA is now a £1 billion a year global brand and the number two volume clothing retailer in the UK, according to Fashiontrak. “We have had discussions with our suppliers who … instructed the buying teams to specify that wool fibre must come from farms which do not practice mulesing”, says Peter Yates, George’s sourcing manager. “We have contacted the Australian embassy in London to ask for their support to the phasing out process and also contacted the Australian trade minister … to ask for his continued support in addressing the matter.”

“It isn’t easy to source back the wool, so we salute them”, says PETA’s Andrew Butler. “Consumers these days want retailers to go the extra mile to make sure that outright cruelty isn’t part of a jumper.”

For more information and to see a video of these abusive practices, please visit PETA’s Web site