Nike action in Belgium

Over 50,000 Sport Enthusiasts Want 50-Year-Jubilee Nike to Stop Using Cruel Wool

FOUR PAWS welcomes strong signal and urges market leader to switch to certified wool to help prevent the mutilation of lambs


Vienna, 8 June 2022 – FOUR PAWS, the global animal welfare organisation, has recently launched a successful campaign for an end to the mutilation of merino lambs, which has so far received over 50,000 signatures. Yet, Nike, the biggest sportswear manufacturer keeps ignoring the calls for a change to exclude the brutal procedure called mulesing from their supply chain even after new footage showing a multitude of mutilation done to little lambs, which has caused international public outrage.

FOUR PAWS in return organised an action on Nike's main European Logistic Campus in Laakdal, Belgium, which is the biggest distribution hub in Europe of the US brand. During the night the animal welfare activists projected the 50,000 people's demands in light of Nike's 50th anniversary onto the façade of the facility.

“Nike is recognised around the world for being a leader in sportswear, but unfortunately, not in animal welfare. While many brands have already made public commitments to exclude the cruel and outdated method from their supply chain, Nike still continues to use such outdated practices. Globally over 300 brands have already published anti-mulesing policies and yet Nike still fails to act and do the right thing."

Rebecca Picallo Gil, Head of the wool campaign at FOUR PAWS, stated.

“Even more than that, Nike keeps ignoring, not only FOUR PAWS, but also over 50,000 sport enthusiasts and Nike fans around the world who are in support of our campaign and think that the brand can do better than this. Now it is time for Nike to act and to show kindness to the millions of sheep that have to suffer from mulesing.”


Merino wool is used in sports apparel for its beneficial characteristics such as breathability and odourless qualities by all of the biggest sports brands globally as the latest report by FOUR PAWS revealed. Nike, as the world´s largest sportswear manufacturer has not committed to phase out the use of mulesed wool in its product range and relying on robust traceability and transparency certifications to achieve that goal. While many other brands – such as Nike´s biggest competitors, Adidas and Puma – already made public commitments to exclude the cruel and outdated method, Nike just does not respond to the public demand.

FOUR PAWS has been campaigning for an end to the cruel mulesing procedure for many years. Mulesing involves cutting off large chunks of skin from two to ten-week-old lambs with sharp shears without the necessary pain relief. For the lambs, this means fear and stress, but above all great pain that can last for days. There have long been alternatives to this, such as switching to sheep breeds that are less susceptible to parasites. There are also certificates that trace wool back to the farms, in order to exclude cruel and outdated methods such as mulesing. 

Globally over 300 brands have already published anti-mulesing policies and in 2021, more than 30 brands even signed an open letter to the Australian wool industry to demand an end to the mutilation of lambs. Australia is the only country in the world where the method of mulesing is still practiced, with Australia being the number one producer of merino wool.

Lambs on a field

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Michael Kellner

Michael Kellner

PR International Officer

+43 (1) 89 50 20 20

+43 (0) 664 504 38 97

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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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