PETA And Animalisti Italiani To Mutilate Hind End Of ‘Lamb’ In Protest Against Benetton Over Cruelty To Sheep

Group Urges Retailer to Boycott Australian Wool Until Lamb Mutilations, Live Sheep Exports End

For Immediate Release:
22 March 2005

Jodi Ruckley +44 (0) 20 7357 9229, ext. 234

Naples, Italy – Mimicking a gruesome procedure used by the Australian wool industry called “mulesing” (live flaying), an Animalisti Italiani member – wearing a sheep costume and exposing his “bloody” rump – will lead a protest outside Benetton’s store in Rome on Thursday. The action is the latest salvo in PETA’s international campaign against the retail giant over its use of cruelly obtained Australian wool. During the “mulesing” demonstration, demonstrators will encourage consumers to boycott Benetton by holding signs that read “Benetton Is Baaad to Sheep” and will show customers a shocking video entitled “United Cruelty of Benetton” on a portable body screen TV. PETA and Animalisti Italiani want Benetton to ban garments made with Australian wool until mulesing and live sheep exports are ended:

Date: Wednesday, 23 March
Time: 11 am
Place: Napoli Palazzo Berio Via Toledo, 256 Napoli

Mulesing is a painful mutilation in which Australian farmers use gardening shears to cut flesh from lambs’ backsides – without painkillers – in a crude attempt to reduce maggot infestation, even though humane control methods exist. When their wool is no longer needed, millions of sheep are shipped to the Middle East through all weather extremes, mired in their own waste aboard open-deck ships. Many sick and injured sheep are thrown overboard to the sharks or ground up alive in mincing machines. When they reach the Middle East, the survivors’ throats are slit while they are fully conscious.

After a year of attempted negotiations with the Australian government to eliminate these atrocities, PETA declared an international boycott of Australian wool in October 2004 and has already won the positive response of prestigious retailers Abercrombie & Fitch, J.Crew, and U.K.-based mega-chains New Look and George. Benetton, however, has failed to take action to stop the worst abuses of the sheep bred for its garments.

“The ‘united colors’ of Benetton are turning blood red,” says Animalisti Italiani spokesperson Ilaria Ferri. “If Benetton doesn’t want to have the blood of millions of lambs on its hands, it should refuse to sell clothes made from Australian wool.”

PETA and Animalisti Italiani are urging consumers to boycott Benetton until it pledges not to use Australian wool and will bombard Benetton with ads and protests around the world to alert the public to the company’s position. For more information, please visit PETA’s Web site