Mulesing is a practice that involves surgically removing a strip of skin from the lamb’s breech in an effort to prevent flystrike. It is a controversial practice, because while some farmers groups say it is the most effective way to prevent flystrike, others say it is an inhumane practice that puts sheep welfare at risk.
The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) represents companies that import wool from Australia and is against mulesing because it is an inhumane practice. USFIA, formerly the United States Association of Importers of Textiles & Apparel (USA-ITA), has joined fellow industry associations and businesses in the United States and across the globe in calling on the Australian wool industry to find alternatives to mulesing and implement those alternatives as soon as possible.
USA-ITA (now USFIA) has joined fellow industry associations and businesses in the United States and across the globe in calling for the Australian wool industry to find alternatives to mulesing and implement those alternatives as soon as possible. Since 2011, USA-ITA/USFIA and other associations have participated in meeting with representatives from the Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) to learn updates on the current reporting and research to find ways to eliminate the use of mulesing. In 2012, 17 organizations, including USA-ITA/USFIA, sent a working paper to AWI with the industry's views, available here.
AWI has provided updated materials on these topics:
- AWI Flystrike R&D and Animal Welfare Update Presentation
- AWI Flystrike Prevention Report Card: Progress 2005-2012
- AWI Research, Development, Extension, & Communications Strategy
- AWI Genetics R&D Review
- Australian Veterinary Association Report
- RSPCA Research Report on Prevention & Control of Blowfly Strike in Sheep
In June 2013, AWI provided USA-ITA/USFIA with its latest quarterly report card.