Riga: ‘Farmer’ To Mutilate ‘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:
19 May 2005
Jodi Ruckley +44 20 7357 9229, ext. 234
Riga – Mimicking a gruesome procedure used by the Australian wool industry called “mulesing” (live flaying), a PETA member – wearing a giant sheep costume and exposing his “bloody” rump – will lead a protest outside Italian clothing chain Benetton’s store in Riga on Saturday. 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, led by Australian Jodi Ruckley, 32, from Sydney, demonstrators will encourage consumers to boycott Benetton by holding signs that read “Benetton Is Baaad to Sheep” and handing out leaflets. PETA wants Benetton to ban garments made with Australian wool until mulesing and live sheep exports are ended:
Date: Saturday, May 21
Time: 1 pm sharp
Place: Benetton, Brivibas Street, 47
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. Millions of sheep are shipped to the Middle East through all weather extremes, mired in their own waste aboard open-decked ships. Many 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.
After a year of attempted negotiations with the Australian government to eliminate these atrocities, PETA US declared an international boycott of Australian wool in October 2004 and has already won the positive response of prestigious retailers Abercrombie & Fitch, J.Crew, Timberland, and UK-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 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 on its hands, it should refuse to sell clothes made from Australian wool.”
PETA is 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.
Ms Ruckley is bringing the international campaign against Benetton to cities throughout the world, including protests in Warsaw, Vilnius and Tallinn.
For more information, please visit UnitedCrueltyOfBenetton.com.