Support Humane Sheep Farming
Australia is the largest exporter of merino wool. It’s time for them to transition to humane practices.
CEO, Australian Wool Innovation
Level 6, 68 Harrington Street, The Rocks, Sydney NSW 2000
Dear Mr. McCullough,
We join the calls of brands, citizens and consumers alike to fulfill the Australian wool industry’s commitment of 2004 to respect the welfare of sheep, phasing out the practice of mulesing.
Alternatives to mulesing are abundant, practical, and logical and not only is the practice avoidable, it will ensure Australia remains globally competitive.
AWI must take ownership of this issue and take action immediately. Industry passivity has resulted in over a decade of this inhumane unnecessary procedure. Prior relegation to the states to determine industry standards are completely insufficient. Currently only 14% of Australian wool producers declare their wool as non-mulesed.
As an industry leader, the facts should be clear to your organization:
New Zealand’s wool industry is prospering having banned mulesing in 2018 after gradually phasing the practice out since 2007. Though a different country with different regulations and supply chain considerations, New Zealand is still a proven prospering model for a ban.
Hundreds of fashion brands already ban mulesing in their supply chain. Banning this practice will ensure the Australian wool industry’s longevity as a dominant supplier and meet the need of evolving consumer expectations.
Moreover, merino producers are open to change and innovation. A survey conducted by Humane Society International (HSI) that collates data from 97 Australian wool growers in different states, climate zones and rainfall areas found that:
91.8% of wool producers believe animal welfare is improved by not mulesing sheep
83.5% say transitioning to an alternative solution is not costly
98% say not mulesing is important for their farm’s future profitability
The industry has clearly progressed beyond a reliance on mulesing. Producers across the country are finding it not only possible but also profitable to end mulesing. They need your leadership to make this an industry standard.
Mr. McCullough, we call upon you and your organization to meet your previous commitment and phase out mulesing by 2025. In 2009, the leaders of the Australian wool industry backed out on their 2004 promise to phase out mulesing by 2010. Lead this reversal by uniting producers, consumers, and shareholders and join New Zealand and Europe’s industry at the cutting edge of true wool innovation.
We and our community believe in a better future for the wool industry. We are on the cusp of a natural fibre renaissance led by more environmentally and socially conscious consumers that demand action to create a world of human, sustainable wool production, free of mulesing.
It is time for action. Join us.