A parliamentary petition calling for an end to mulesing will be tabled in NSW Parliament in the coming months.
The petition, which will be tabled by Animal Justice Party MP Mark Pearson, has recieved over 1,500 signatures to date, surpassing the 500 needed to be tabled in the NSW Legislative Council.
The petition was launched after new footage was sent to Collective Fashion Justice by an ex-wool industry worker showsingyoung lambs writhing and crying out in pain as their skin is hacked off with sharp shears.
FOUR PAWS UK has been invited to show this footage in the British Parliament, as Australian trade agreements are discussed. Calls for a ban on Australian wool imports until mulesing is completely phased out have been made by both Mr Pearson and Collective Fashion Justice.
The petition calls for a complete phase out by 2030, recognising breeding out wrinkly skin can take time for some producers. Calls for mandatory pain relief during tail docking, castration and mulesing effective immediately are also included.
Veterinary experts state that even with pain relief, mulesing causes distress and is unacceptable. The fashion industry and consumer attitudes are quickly shifting, as more brands pledge to stop using mulesed wool, and some choose plant-based alternatives.
Quotes attributable to Emma Hakansson, founding director of Collective Fashion Justice
‘Viable and proven alternatives to mulesing exist. This cruel mutilation is not a necessary evil – it is archaic and must be phased out as quickly as possible’
‘While a ban on mulesing is absolutely critical, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. The wool industry is wrapped up with sheep slaughter, live export and major environmental impacts, too’
‘Wool knitwear labelled as ‘responsible’, ’sustainable’ and ’natural’ may be coming from young lambs just like those suffering in this footage. The fashion industry must recognise that the wellbeing of animals is a critical aspect of genuinely sustainable, ethical fashion.’
‘The worker who sent Collective Fashion Justice this footage has risked their safety to protect lambs. We’re seeing more and more industry and ex-industry workers speaking out about the violent treatment of thinking, feeling animals for the sake of fashion.’
Quotes attributable to Mark Pearson, NSW Upper House MP for the Animal Justice Party
‘The wool industry has known for decades that the public rejects the horrific cruelty of mulesing, the most shocking mutilation of an animal.’
‘Despite empty promises about change, mulesing remains the status quo. Left to regulate itself, the industry clearly won’t change, and that’s why we need legislation in place to commit to a ban on mulesing.’
‘The world is now looking in Australia’s backyard. Our nation must ban this cruelty or be left behind both socially and economically.’
Quotes attributable to anonymous whistleblower worker:
‘One lamb was dropped from the cradle and just lay on the ground. Still conscious but unable to get up, she lay there maybe 5 to 10 minutes in shock’
‘I’ve observed that new people who haven’t seen mulesing before are watched very closely by those who have as it’s expected for people to have a visceral reaction to the graphic process. It’s always quickly justified, but it can’t be, it’s not right and we can do better’
‘No one in the industry ever says it’s ethical, just that it’s the lesser of two evils, but it’s not true. There are other options, it doesn’t need to be this way’
‘Doing this work, I don’t see a blatant lack of care for animal suffering from other workers. That’s kind of the point, even if this is done in the best way possible, it’s still wrong’
‘It’s hard to concentrate over the sounds of ewes and lambs crying out to each other, let alone the cries of lambs being painfully mulesed. It’s always a full, tiring day of physically and mentally difficult work’
Media contact: Elena Wewer – 0428 444 132 – text preferred