A maggot infestation called "flystrike" has hit lambs in Australia, but the parasites are causing an even bigger problem. Many Australian farmers are attempting to prevent and combat "flystrike" by cutting off chunks of skin from lambs' backsides with makeshift scalpels or gardening shears. This crude surgery - known as mulesing - is not only a painful form of mutilation, but it's also stoppable.
A breeding program could offer a genetic solution to prevent "flystrike", and experts say an ambitious program could end mulesing in as few as two years. An accelerated transition to plain-bodies or bare-breech sheep could also bring a timely end to mulesing mutilations.
Six US trade and business organizations have called for an end to mulesing by 2013, and leading designers and retailers such as Gap Inc have stopped buying or moved away from using mulesed wool. Around the world, people are hoping for an end to the mulesing mutitlations. Urge Prime Minister Gillard to establish a comprehensive plan and fast-paced timeline to stop mulesing in Australia.
I'm writing to urge you to establish a comprehensive plan and fast-paced timeline to stop mulesing in Australia.
Cutting off pieces of skin from the backsides of lambs is as crude and painful an operation as it sounds. Six US trade and business organizations along with a number of leading designers and retailers - including Gap Inc, Timberland, Abercrombie & Fitch, Limited Brands, Liz Claiborne, HUGO BOSS and Perry Ellis - have recognized mulesing as inhumane. The US organizations have called for an end to mulesing by 2013, and the designers and retailers have banned or cut back on purchasing mulesing wool. Around the world, people are expressing horror at the mutilation of lambs taking place in Australia.
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An ambitious breeding program could offer a genetic solution to prevent "flystrike" and make mulesing obsolete in as few as two years. Furthermore, an accelerated transition to plain-bodies or bare-breech sheep will also help bring a timely end to mulesing mutilations. Mulesing is inhumane and stoppable, and I urge you to take action to end it as soon as possible.
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