Livestock

Retailers cut using wool from mulesed sheep

By Rodney Woods

Leading Australian fashion retailers Country Road Group and David Jones have recently made the commitment to phase out mulesed sheep wool from their lines in an attempt to advocate better animal protection in the fashion industry.

Animal rights organisation FOUR PAWS has highlighted the importance of the groups’ decision, indicating the move provides a clear signal to the Australian sheep industry that change needs to happen.

The head of programs at FOUR PAWS Australia, Jessica Medcalf, has commended the fashion brands on taking the initiative towards a more humane manufacturing process.

“Well done to the team at Country Road Group and David Jones for making a solid plan to achieve higher levels of sheep welfare within their supply chains,” she said.

“Country Road’s commitment and plan to phase out mulesed wool is a progressive step forward for animals, and greater transparency for shoppers.”

Introduced in the 1920s, mulesing is the process of removing folds of skin from the tail area of a sheep, intended to reduce fly strike.

It was once considered a ‘necessary evil’ but is now and out-of-touch with modern standards as alternatives exist and are already in use by many producers.

“Mulesing causes millions of lambs to suffer fear, stress and acute pain every year in Australia,” she said.

“This acute pain can last up to three days and leaves a wound which can take weeks to heal.”