RSPCA Australia has again urged the wool industry to demonstrate leadership, meet community expectations and commit to ending mulesing, following a government and industry roundtable this week.
Each year, most of Australia’s Merino lambs have skin sliced from around their breech and tail area in a painful procedure called mulesing, which helps to make sheep less susceptible to flystrike.
The RSPCA argues that conducting such a brutal and painful procedure is not defensible in the long term, especially in this age of heightened consumer awareness and concern, and when a viable alternative is available.
“Breeding plainer-bodied flystrike-resistant sheep is the only long-term solution to address flystrike risk,” said RSPCA Australia Senior Scientific Officer Melina Tensen.
“Many wool growers have already made the transition and many more are gaining the confidence to do so with the dedicated support of like-minded peers and industry bodies.
“The future of the wool industry is in the spotlight this week. So, it’s the perfect time for wool industry leaders to demonstrate true leadership and commit to achieving the genetic solution within the shortest possible timeframe, while mandating pain relief in the interim.
“From a risk, consumer confidence and, importantly, animal welfare perspective, continuing to defend mulesing is simply not sustainable.”
More information on why the RSPCA wants to end mulesing – and what the alternatives are – is available on the Knowledgebase.