Merino sheep

Animal welfare organisations unite to help fast-track an end to painful mulesing

New partnership to end mulesing in Australia


13 Dec 2021 – Three leading animal welfare organisations, FOUR PAWS, Humane Society International (HSI) Australia and RSPCA Australia, announced today a partnership to work towards an end to mulesing across Australia. 

The partnership will include regular contact with major international brands as well as numerous wool growers across Australia, in response to demand for non-mulesed wool that is stronger than ever.

The three organisations are encouraging the wool industry to fast-track the move away from mulesing through the uptake of better genetics to produce non-mulesed wool that is both sustainable and responsible, satisfying growing consumer demands.

Spokespersons for the three groups say that with the newly elected board of wool industry body Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) announced recently, industry, producers and the community are looking for leadership on this issue. One of the goals in AWI’s Wool 2030 Strategy promises to build grower confidence to manage flystrike risk without mulesing, and the animal welfare advocates believe this goal can easily be achieved with the right leadership, support and incentives.

“With more than 3,000 Australian woolgrowers already producing high quality non-mulesed wool from flystrike resistant flocks and hundreds of brands banning mulesed wool from their supply chains, there’s no excuse for growers to continue this painful husbandry practice long term. Mulesing-free wool is the future and the Australian wool industry bodies are best placed to support their members to put mulesing in the past and prepare for the future.”

Rebecca Picallo Gil, FOUR PAWS Wool Campaigner

“With the advanced genetics available today, it is unacceptable to continue to breed wrinkly sheep that are prone to flystrike. Our organisations want to see an end to mulesing within the next decade, a target that is easily achievable.”

Georgie Dolphin, HSI’s Program Manager for Animal Welfare

“We are confident that the combined strength, expertise and connections of our three organisations can help bring about meaningful, industry-wide change. We want to see more wool growers transition away from mulesing in the shortest possible time frame and an end to the suffering of millions of lambs each year.”

Melina Tensen, RSPCA Australia Senior Scientific Officer (Farm Animals)

Each year, more than 10 million lambs have wrinkly skin sliced from around their breech and tail area in a painful procedure called mulesing. It is done to create scar tissue that is resistant to flystrike. Breeding plain-bodied sheep that are naturally resistant to flystrike is a much more effective and humane solution. Plain-bodied sheep do not need to be mulesed, the genetics are tested by the industry, and available now.

Merino lamb

It's Time to End Mulesing

Michael Kellner

Michael Kellner

PR International Officer

+43 (0) 664 504 38 97

VIER PFOTEN International 
Linke Wienzeile 236
1150 Vienna, Austria

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FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler and friends, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. The sustainable campaigns and projects of FOUR PAWS focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats and orangutans – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in eleven countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions.

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