Caged Man Outside Australian Embassy To Protest Live Export Of Sheep

PETA Member to Spend 34 Hours Caged and Fasting, As Sheep Go Without Sustenance on Gruelling Journey to Middle East

For Immediate Release:
6 October 2004

Andrew Butler 020 7357 9229, ext 230
Dawn Carr 020 7357 9229, ext 224

London – Going 34 hours without food or water is only a small part of what many sheep endure as they travel on multi-tiered ships from the Sydney docks to ritual slaughter in the Middle East. PETA members will protest the practice, holding signs that read, “Live Export Kills –”, and standing over a caged man outside the Australian High Commission in London. The PETA member in the cage – fasting in solidarity with a group of Australians currently protesting the cruelty with a hunger strike in Adelaide –will show graphic footage of the suffering of sheep raised in Australia for their wool. PETA has warned the Australian government that if live sheep exports, in which thousands of sheep die each year, and mulesing, a cruel mutilation of lambs, are not stopped, Australia will face an international boycott of its wool later this month. Australia is the largest producer and exporter of wool and accounts for 28 per cent of wool worldwide.

Date: Thursday, 7 October
Time: 10 a.m. sharp (the caged protester aims to continue until 8 p.m. on Friday, 8 October)
Place: Australian High Commission, Australia House, corner of Aldwych and the Strand

The protest falls on the final two days for Australian citizens in the UK to cast their absentee ballots in the upcoming election to determine the country’s next prime minister. A PETA Asia-Pacific representative, wearing a sheep costume, has been dogging the candidates – Prime Minister John Howard and Labor Leader Mark Latham – at campaign stops throughout Australia and even managed to give the startled PM a friendly sheep hug in Perth – much to the chagrin of Howard’s personal security detail.

“Mulesing” may become a household word if PETA’s campaign goes forward in October. It describes the procedure whereby Australian farmers mutilate lambs – without any painkillers – by carving large chunks of flesh from the animals’ upturned, trussed backsides in a crude effort to reduce fly-strike. When their wool production declines, millions of often frail sheep are shipped thousands of miles through all weather extremes, standing in their own waste on open-deck, disease-ridden, multi-tiered ships to the Middle East, North Africa, and other places, where their throats are slit while they are fully conscious. Many sick and injured sheep, treated as mere cargo, are thrown overboard or ground up in mincing machines while they are still alive.

“Australia’s war on old sheep is a national disgrace”, says PETA Campaign Coordinator Andrew Butler, who will confine himself to a cage for the fast. “Kind people won’t buy wool when they learn about mulesing and live export, so now is the time to stop both practices.”

A similar protest will take place in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit PETA’s Web site