Following a protracted campaign by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) Uniqlo are finally phasing out wool from mulesed sheep. Critics argue the practice of mulsing sheep is cruel and ineffective.
You may not have thought much about how the wool makes it from the sheep to your jumper. Indeed many may be shocked to find out that the sheep in question are often treated in quite barbaric ways.
The practice of mulesing involves an operation to remove part of a sheep’s breech and tail. It is performed to prevent a parasitic infection called flystrike. The operation is done without anaesthetic and critics argue it is cruel and often ineffective in preventing the infection.
As one of the world’s biggest wool exporters, Australian sheep farmers have been under fire for the practice. Companies sourcing their wool from these farmers have also been in the firing line.
According to Ecouterre, a number of high profile retailers, including C&A, Top Shop, H&M, Abercrombie & Fitch, Hugo Boss and Gap have already insisted on non-mulesed wool. However Japanese retailer, Uniqlo had been dragging their heels.
But finally, after heavy campaigning by PETA, they have finally agreed to phase out mulesed wool from their supply chain.
On their website, PETA said: “In pledging to phase out the use of wool from farms that continue to mutilate their sheep, Uniqlo has shown the world and, most importantly, Australian wool producers that it believes cruelty to animals is never fashionable.”