Help the lambs – no more suffering for Merino wool!

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As a filmmaker I quite often encounter terrible fates. But what I saw filming my current documentary on Merino wool in Australia pushed me and my team to the limits of the unbearable: The cruel suffering of Merino sheep for wool. We have decided to act and need your support:

Help us to stop surgical procedures on sheep without the use of pain relief or anesthesia in Australia!

In May 2019 a new federal government will be elected in Australia. Let's welcome the Ministers with thousands of signatures and encourage them to act.

We do not want sheep to suffer for wool! We need your vote for mandatory pain relief!

What it's all about:

We travelled from Germany to Australia to document the conditions under which 90 percent of the fine merino wool in our clothes is produced. On several sheep farms we had to learn that the first weeks of a lamb´s life are tarnished by painful interventions that are usually performed without pain relief or anesthesia:

Their tail is cut off, male offspring castrated and then there is mulesing, an operation carried out to protect lambs from an infestation of fly maggots. The cries of the lambs who have to endure these procedures without painkillers are heartbreaking.

What is mulesing?

Merino sheep were bred with wrinkled skin for just one reason: on more skin surface more and finer wool can be grown. But the excess skin and the skin folds come with danger for the sheep´s lives. Flies especially like to lay their eggs in the moist folds on the hindquarters of the sheep. When the maggots hatch, they drill through the skin and eat the sheep from the inside. Left untreated, this leads to a gruesome, slow death. No sheep farmer wants to watch his sheep die in such an agonizing way. Named after its discoverer, John W. H. Mules, mulesing has proved an economic and effective preventative measure.

We have witnessed this extremely painful and bloody procedure. The lambs are restrained in such a way that they can no longer move. Then large pieces of skin on the behinds are cut away - on the majority of farms still without anesthesia or painkillers.

The solution:

We call for an immediate ban on all operations on sheep without the use of pain relief or anesthesia.

In addition, the Australian government must set a new time frame for the wool industry to phase out the practice of mulesing where it is safe for the sheep, since in the long term there is only one solution: Merino sheep must be bred to have less wrinkle and less wool growth in the breech area. That is possible, but breeding programs have not been supported effectively in recent years. There even has been an ultimatum that the Australian wool industry had set itself: In 2010, they wanted mulesing abolished. But the deadline was simply withdrawn and no new one ever set.

Help to stop mulesing and other operations on sheep without pain relief in Australia!

A new federal government will be elected in May 2019. With more than 100.000 signatures, we want to hand this petition over to the Minister of Agriculture for the 46th Parliament of Australia and State Agricultural Ministers in the presence of national and international press, putting the pressure right on.

We do not want sheep to suffer for wool! We need your vote!

Please support us with your signature and follow our initiative #nopain4sheep on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For more info, this is our documentary. 

Letter to 46th Australian Parliament:

Dear Minister of Agriculture for the 46th Parliament of Australia, State Ministers of Agriculture,

with dismay we had to learn that the Australian wool industry has still failed to enforce pain-free alternatives for the mulesing of Merino sheep, such as breeding less wrinkled sheep. More so: mulesing and other surgical procedures such as crutching and castration are still performed on the majority of farms without pain relief.

Please take action to change the practice of these painful and cruel operations. We don’t want sheep to suffer for wool. We urge you, as the Australian State Agriculture Ministers in charge, to set new legislation standards: An immediate ban of all operations on sheep without the administration of pain relief.

Don’t disappoint our confidence in the Australian government and wool growers: We don´t want to wear the wool from screaming sheep on our skin.
We want wool without suffering and pain!