Nude Protesters Expose Benetton’S True Colours For Launch Of World Protest Tour

Group Will Demonstrate on Four Continents to Protest Company’s Support for Cruelty to Sheep by Australian Wool Industry

For Immediate Release:
3 June 2005

Jodi Ruckley +44 20 7357 9229, ext. 234

Rome – Members of PETA Europe, clad only in a rainbow of paint colours – including splashes of blood-red – will gather outside Benetton’s store in Rome on Tuesday, urging the international clothing retailer to stop using Australian wool until the industry ends two particularly cruel practices – mutilating lambs’ backsides in a procedure called “mulesing” and cramming live sheep onto “death ships” for gruelling journeys to the Middle East.

Led by Australian Jodi Ruckley and Italian Simona Stefani, the action marks the launch of a world tour of protests against Italy-based Benetton over its use of cruelly obtained Australian wool:

Date: Tuesday, 7 June
Time: 11 a.m. sharp
Place: Outside Benetton, Via Cola di Rienzo 193-209

During the “mulesing” demonstration, activists will encourage consumers to boycott Benetton by displaying huge panels with graphic images of mutilated Australian lambs. PETA Europe wants Benetton to join the retailer-led movement to reform the Australian wool industry by pledging not to sell garments made with Australian wool until mulesing and live sheep exports are ended.

Mulesing is a painful mutilation in which Australian farmers use gardening shears to cut skin and flesh from lambs’ backsides – without painkillers – in a crude attempt to reduce maggot infestation, even though humane control methods exist. Every year, millions of sheep are shipped to the Middle East through all weather extremes, mired in their own waste aboard open-decked ships. Sick and injured sheep are thrown overboard to the sharks or ground up alive in mincing machines. When the survivors reach the Middle East, their throats are slit while they are still conscious.

PETA US declared an international boycott of Australian wool in October 2004 and has already won the positive response of prestigious US retailers Abercrombie & Fitch, J.Crew, Timberland and Limited Brands and UK-based mega-chains New Look and George, but Benetton refuses to follow their lead.

“The ‘united colours’ of Benetton are turning blood red”, says PETA Europe Campaign Coordinator Jodi Ruckley. “If Benetton doesn’t want to have the blood of millions of lambs and their mothers on its hands, it should refuse to sell clothes made from Australian wool.”

The tour includes protests in Europe, Asia, North America and South America. For more information and to view a video of mulesing and live export, please visit