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.
Following discussions with PETA, PUMA—one of the world's largest
designers and developers of sports footwear, apparel, and accessories—has
pledged never to use animal
fur, wool that comes from mulesed (i.e., mutilated) Australian sheep, or exotic-animal skins. How appropriate that a company named after one of nature's most beautiful
animals would help protect so many others!
Photo: Nick Saglimbeni for SlickForceStudio|Hair and makeup: Glenn Nutley for Celestine Agency|Body art: Nelly Rechhia for Aim Artists
For help in making animal-friendly choices, check out PETA's
Written by PETA
Many Australian sheep will be spared from mutilation, thanks to U.K.-based grocery giant Tesco, which has announced that it will buy lamb meat only from farms that do not perform mulesing. Farmers who raise sheep for wool often sell them for slaughter if wool prices drop, meat prices increase, or the sheep are too old to breed. But now Tesco will only buy the meat if the farmers did not mutilate the sheep during wool production.
Mulesing is a barbaric procedure in which Australian farmers use garden shears to carve chunks of skin and flesh from the lamb's backsides in a crude attempt to create smoother skin that won't collect moisture and attract flies. But the exposed, bloody wounds often attract flies before they heal, or they become infected. Many sheep who have undergone the mulesing mutilation still suffer slow, agonizing deaths from flystrike. PETA has lobbied for the Australian wool industry to require all sheep farmers to control flystrike with the humane methods—such as breeding for a bare breech, spray washing, and more frequent monitoring of sheep—that are already being used by some farmers.
To thank Tesco for helping to end this cruel practice, PETA U.K. has sent the company a vegan cake emblazoned with the image of a sheep. You can help by urging the Australian government to outlaw mulesing today.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
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.
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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.