Written by Jeff Mackey
PETA has sent an urgent letter to Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard asking her to put a stop to cruel live exports after tens of thousands of sick sheep shipped from Australia to slaughter in the Middle East were left stranded aboard their vessels, struggling to survive in sweltering weather after being turned away by officials in Bahrain and Kuwait. One ship remained in the waters off Bahrain for more than a month before reportedly unloading the animals in Pakistan for sale to an unidentified buyer.
© Compassion in World Farming From the moment their journey begins, sheep are kept in miserable conditions.
Live Export Means Dead Sheep
Many people and companies have joined PETA's boycott of Aussie wool after learning about the cruelty of mulesing, a procedure in which young lambs have huge chunks of skin and flesh cut from their backsides, often without being given any painkillers. But there's another important reason to shed wool: Every year, around 3 million discarded sheep are packed onto ships to face their deaths in North Africa or the Middle East so that the wool industry can make even more money off the animals.
Many of the sheep starve to death, are trampled, or become ill and die en route to their final destinations. The grueling journey can last several weeks through all weather extremes, with sheep confined amid their own waste on ships that hold up to 100,000 animals. Conditions are hot and cramped—the perfect environment to spread diseases, such as the outbreaks of scabby mouth that caused these two ships to be turned away.
© Compassion in World FarmingThe sheep are crammed together so tightly, many are unable to reach food and water troughs.
Sheep who survive the journey are subjected to handling and slaughter methods upon their arrival that would be illegal back in Australia. The animals are kicked, beaten, prodded, and dragged off trucks and into slaughterhouses by their ears and legs, and some are left to die in barren feedlots in scorching-hot temperatures. Sheep have their legs tightly bound and are thrown into the trunks of cars, have their throats slit while they are still conscious, and are left to bleed to death in prolonged and agonizing ways.
What You Can Do
These are not the first cases in which sheep have been nightmarishly stranded—and unless live exports end, they won't be the last. Wool sales support this heartless and bloody industry, so save a sheep—don't buy wool products. Urge Australian Minister for Agriculture Joe Ludwig to end the live export of animals.
Written by PETA
While we don't encourage anyone to try to
replicate this elsewhere, it looks like someone has figured out a way to make
an entire street vegan:
Egan Street in
Sydney, Australia, already boasted a vegan
pizza place, but if the city decides to stick with the name, could more animal-friendly
businesses be far behind?
Written by Michelle Sherrow
chic about mutilating sheep, and the Australian wool industry's
efforts to make the sweater set appeal to the younger set via its Facebook page
have hit a snag. After PETA asked its supporters to post photos from our "We ♥ Sheep" album,
show the unlovely cruelty behind the wool industry's "We ♥ Wool" page,
the page was shut down!
The wool industry is
notorious for mutilating millions of gentle lambs every year with "mulesing,"
a crude and cruel attempt to prevent a maggot infestation known as "flystrike."
Farmers cut huge chunks of flesh—not just skin—from lambs' backsides, usually
with little or no pain relief. In agony, the mulesed lambs scuttle sideways
like crabs, and the deep wounds can take weeks to heal, often becoming infected
before they do.
You can help save sheep's skin—and
get under the wool industry's skin—by
shopping for cruelty-free clothing
by Heather Faraid Drennan
Update: After the Australian RSPCA was at last permitted to board the disabled ship, they discovered that at least 200 sheep had already died. The surviving sheep are being unloaded and sent to a feedlot, a process that is expected to take several days. Australia's agriculture minister acknowledged that hundreds of sheep had died but shrugged off the deaths as being "expected."
The following was first published on August 16th.
For the past week, 67,000 sheep have struggled to survive inside a crowded, filthy multitier ship in Australia. We're betting that not all of them have made it. The sheep―either discarded by the wool industry or bred for meat―were bound for slaughter in the Middle East, a grueling journey, but when the ship experienced mechanical problems, the captain turned the ship around and returned to Australia.
Now the ship is sitting at the dock, and the sheep have been left on board to suffer in cramped quarters, mired in their own waste. Eventually, one supposes, it will be back out to sea again for these unfortunate animals.
The voyage from Australia to the Middle East can take weeks, during which time many sheep commonly starve to death, are trampled, or become ill and die, their bodies tossed overboard. Upon arrival, the survivors are dragged from the ship, thrown into the backs of trucks, and driven to slaughter, where they have their throats cut while fully conscious.
Please urge Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to put a stop to the immense suffering endured by millions of sheep and other animals every year by banning live export.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Virginia police are looking for a serial butt-slasher—a man who has cut several women across their backsides with a sharp blade in crowded shopping malls. While these attacks are disturbing, they are all too common—at least in Australia, where there is a veritable butt-slashing epidemic.
Every year, Australian farmers cut huge chunks of flesh from millions of gentle lambs' backsides during the mulesing mutilation. The lambs struggle as they are forced into metal restraints and have the skin around their tails cut away with garden shears in a crude and cruel attempt to prevent flystrike—a maggot infestation that affects Merino sheep who have been bred to have excessively wrinkly skin in which flies lay their eggs. The wounds from mulesing may take weeks to heal, and until then, the little lambs walk sideways like crabs because of the pain. Many lambs die when infection sets in or from flystrike—the very condition that the mulesing mutilation is supposed to prevent.
There are humane and more effective options for preventing flystrike, including breeding sheep to have less wrinkly skin and monitoring flocks more closely to treat the early signs of flystrike. Please take a moment to tell Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard that it's time for the wool industry to get off its a** and start treating sheep as living creatures, not commodities.
Written by Heather Faraid Drennan
In order to show tourists that behind glossy pictures of the Sydney Opera House and Ayers Rock, Australia has an ugly secret, PETA is launching a new video spoof of an Oz tourism promotion called, "There's Nothing Like Australia's Cruelty to Sheep." Our version shows the cruelty of the Australian wool industry with video of farmers as they mutilate lambs' backsides, while the national anthem plays.
Much of the world's wool comes from Australian sheep who are subjected to "mulesing," a painful procedure in which farmers cut chunks of skin and flesh from sheep's backsides, often without adequate pain relief, in a crude and cruel attempt to prevent maggot infestation, called "flystrike." Humane methods of flystrike prevention—such as closer monitoring of sheep and breeding sheep who are less susceptible to flystrike—are available and in use by some farmers in Australia.
To help give sheep a permanent vacation from cruelty, please e-mail the Australian Prime Minister and ask her to take action immediately to end mulesing.
By now, you've no doubt heard about the string of shark attacks on tourists off the Egyptian coast at the Sharm el-Sheikh resort, including one attack that killed a German woman. But do you know why the sharks suddenly started biting? Some officials believe the sharks were drawn to the area by a livestock ship that was allegedly dumping the carcasses of sheep into the Red Sea.
The Middle East is a frequent destination for ships from Australia carrying sheep who have been cast off by the wool industry or who were raised for lamb chops. (During last month's Eid al-Adha festival alone, Australia exported 800,000 sheep to the Middle East.) That's tens of thousands of sheep who are crammed onto huge, open-deck ships, packed together so tightly that many are often unable to reach food and water troughs. Hundreds may die during the grueling, weeks-long voyage.
A new investigation by Animals Australia documents the horrific fate of the survivors. Investigators filmed conscious animals who were thrown to the ground, trussed by all four legs, and slaughtered by having their throats cut open with dull knives.
More videos from Animals Australia
Animals Australia presented its findings to Australia's new agriculture minister, Joe Ludwig, who, one can only hope, will be more receptive than previous deaf, dumb, and blind administrations. Please write to Senator Ludwig and urge him to ban the export of live animals.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott holds a lot of sway when it comes to Australia's sheep. The proof? He inspired PETA Australia's Lucy the Sheep, who is following him all over the place these days, to wear a red Speedo similar to his (in)famous "budgie smuggler." (Warning: The link is possibly NSFW.)
Maybe next he'll inspire the rest of Australia's parliament to end mulesing and live-sheep exports.
And, this week's 10% Wool "Tag and Release" winner is ... Beth Ann! Congratulations.
Don't forget to check out the archive of past 10% Wool comic strips here. Get more information on the series and the writer here, and learn how to get Jeff's other comic, DeFlocked, into your local paper here.
You've seen Hollywood's fugliest. Now, take a look at the Uggliest from Down Under: The proposed national costume for Miss Universe contestant Jesinta Campbell, aka Miss Australia, is making people wince.
PETA Australia has asked Campbell to abandon her plans to wear a ghastly get-up that includes a sheepskin shrug and last year's Ugg boots during the upcoming Miss Universe Pageant in Las Vegas. Unless she's lived in a cave, she has to know that most lambs in Australia are subjected to "mulesing"—a mutilation in which huge chunks of flesh are cut from lambs' backsides. And to help her out in case she sticks to her decision to wear this itchy, woolly outfit, PETA Australia is sending her what it believes is the perfect accessory for her costume: a pair of mulesing shears.
Personally, I'm optimistic that Campbell will come around to compassion. When I was her age, my most prized possession was a black leather motorcycle jacket—until I learned about how cows suffer in meat and milk factories. Just as I abandoned my leather vice to become pleather nice, Campbell can go from abominable to fauxnomenal.
Written by Karin Bennett
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.