PETA Kicks Uniqlo’s Butt Over Cruel Sheep Mulesing
PETA supporters were out in force on London’s Oxford Street yesterday to protest fashion retailer Uniqlo’s continued use of Australian wool from mulesed sheep.
Australian merino sheep are bred to have wrinkly skin so that they will produce more wool, but the wrinkles collect moisture and attract flies. Flies lay their eggs in the folds of the animals’ skin, and the hatched maggots can eat the sheep alive, creating a condition known as “flystrike”. In a crude attempt to prevent flystrike, Australian farmers perform the barbaric mulesing mutilation, in which they cut huge chunks of skin and flesh from lambs’ backsides with instruments resembling gardening shears – often without any painkillers.
After mulesing, the lambs walk sideways like crabs because the pain is so intense, and the wounds can take weeks to heal. Ironically, the gaping, bloody wounds created by mulesing can become infected or attract flies and result in flystrike – the very condition that mulesing is supposed to prevent. Humane methods of flystrike control, including closer monitoring of sheep, are already available and in use by some farmers.
The Australian wool industry had promised to end this cruel practice by 2010 but has reneged on its promise. PETA and its affiliates around the world already have the support of high-profile names like H&M, Adidas and HUGO BOSS. Please do your bit for the sheep and send an e-mail to Uniqlo today urging them to join other compassionate retailers in speaking out against this cruelty.