Naked ‘Corpses’ In Coffins Protest The Cruelty Of Australian Wool

Mutilation of Lambs, Live-Sheep Exports Bring PETA to Milan

For Immediate Release:
3 February 2006

Juergen Faulmann +49 173 657 5668
Eva Carpinelli       +39 328 335 4011

Milan, Italy – Lying naked in flower-decorated coffins under a banner that reads, “We Wouldn’t Be Caught Dead Wearing Australian Wool,” two members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) will protest against “mulesing” (live flaying) mutilations of lambs and the live export of sheep by Australia’s wool industry Tuesday in Milan:

Date: Tuesday, 7 February
Time: 11 a.m. sharp
Place: Australian Consulate, Via Borgogna 2

Why is PETA “dying” to spread the word about Australia’s abuse of sheep? Mulesing is a painful procedure in which Australian farmers use gardening shears to cut skin and flesh from lambs’ backsides – without painkillers – in a crude effort to reduce maggot infestation from blowfly strike, even though humane control methods exist and are already in use among Australian wool farmers, including timely jetting, crutching and shearing sheep; using chemical flytrap systems and breeding for bare breach and plain-bodied sheep, along with implementing better animal-husbandry practices. Mulesing continues simply because it is the cheapest and easiest thing to do.

Sheep, who are gentle and easily-frightened animals, also die by the tens of thousands each year when the Australian wool industry crowds them onboard multi-tiered ships for a terrifying sea voyage across thousands of miles, often enduring temperatures of more than 37ºC. During these agonising journeys, which can take several weeks, sheep die of starvation caused by stress and confusion. Many collapse from heat exhaustion, and many are smothered or trampled by other frightened sheep. Sick and injured sheep have been ground up alive in giant onboard mincing machines; others have been thrown overboard to drown or be eaten by sharks. At their final destination – usually countries with no animal welfare standards whatsoever – sheep are dragged from the ships into abattoirs and market squares, where their throats are slit, often in front of other sheep, all while they are still conscious.

“The wool industry and the Australian government are blind to international animal welfare concerns”, says PETA Europe Managing Director Ingrid E. Newkirk. “Australia’s ugly war on sheep is a national disgrace.”

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