Mulesing in Australia hinders ranking for animal-friendly Merino Knitting Wool

VIER PFOTEN, a worldwide animal protection organisation publishes for the first time ever a ranking for animal friendly Meriono Knitting Wool. We take the case for Switzerland, from 4 out of 28 interested provider can exclude for their products the mulesign. This painful procedure includes that the sheep have to support without any anesthesia that large strips of skin at the buttocks are cut off to prevent fly maggot infestation.

Merino Sheep in Australia, caption courtesy by VIER PFOTEN

VIER PFOTEN supports in the campaign against this painful procedure companies that are definitely inclined to eliminate mulesing products from their supply chain.

Die Einkaufshilfe für tierliebende Strickfans: VIER PFOTEN veröffentlicht erstmalig ein Ranking für tierfreundliche Merinostrickwolle-Marken, die auf dem Schweizer Markt erhältlich sind. Nur 4 der 28 untersuchten Anbieter können bei ihren Garnen das sogenannte «Mulesing» nahezu ausschliessen. Bei dieser schmerzhaften Prozedur werden Schafen als Prävention gegen Fliegenmadenbefall ohne Betäubung grosse Hautstreifen am Po weggeschnitten. Im Kampf gegen diese schmerzhaften Eingriffe unterstützt VIER PFOTEN Firmen, die Mulesing-Produkte aus ihren Lieferketten verbannen wollen.

The actual ranking by VIER PFOTEN shows that only 4 of the 28 submitted knitting wool brands offered on the Swiss market assure consumers with a very high  probabilizty that the wool is produced without mulesing.  The global animal protection foundation subdivides ist ranking in five categories: Platin, Gold, Silver, Beginner and Insufficient. The platin ranking with 100 % certified mulesing free wool was only attributed to the brand Rosy Green Wool. Three other providers were bestowed with a gold status, their products are already with high probability mulesing free. On top these brands have the intention to certify their products to exclude definitely mulesing. At half of the tested brands (14 out of 28) mulesing cannot be excluded, thus these received the lowest ranking.

Certificates assist at the buy of Merino  wool

«An important indicator by the selection of wool without mulesing are labelsand certificates such as the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), ZQ Merino, NATIVA,New Merino and GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) – however with the limitation of the fact that GOTS wool is not deriving from Australia. On the website of Vier Pfoten consumers find an oversight on all labels excluding relaiably mulesing. The ranking and the counselor «Knitting with Heart» support wool lovers to cater to wool without the painful and bleeding sheep-mulesing, declares Yasmine Wenk, campaign member of Vier Pfoten Switzerland.

Attention by GOTS wool from Australia

VIER PFOTEN appeals to the entire industry to eliminate muelsing to move to mulesing free procedures. Also consumers can highly influence the development, because they can demand brands and traders from where the wool is deriving and exercise pressure. Who is purchasing mulesing free wool helps to embetter the living conditions of Merino sheep.

The appeal points to the responsibility and is badsed upon the close exchange with brands and labels. Yasmine Wenk adds «Firms have to follow a time table from what time they will no longer offer mulesing wool and have to publicly inform. A clear sign of brands towards their partners in the supply chain and most of all to sheep growers in Australia to encourage them to

Ranking winner Rosy Green Wool stands for improvements of existing certification standards: “Suffering animals and the joy of knitting are in no partnership! We are delighted by the work of Vier Pfoten, because only outside pressure will change the textile industry to initiate higher animal friendly standards, esxplains Patrick Gruban, co-founder and co-owner of Rosy GreenWool. On demand Vier Pfoten supports companies that would like to follow that example to be mulesing free. The global foundation for the protection of animals assists firms also when moving to internal animal protection concepts.

Information on muelesing

Mulesing is applied at two to ten week old lambs. This cruelty procedure is exclusively practised in Australia. The mulesing should prevent Myiasis, but the sheeps raised for multiple folds show also that besides of the bottocks also the folds offer room for Myiasis.  A new report shows painless solutions for the animals by breedback measures. More than 3000 sheep growers in Australia breed sheep that are not overbreeded and without folds, thus mulesing becomes unnecessary.