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H&M urges Aussi wool sector to stop mulesing
20
Feb '08
During an open and frank meeting with representatives from the Australian Wool and Sheep Industry Taskforce in Stockholm yesterday, H&M said that while it is urging the Australian wool industry to stop mulesing, it would continue to source Australian Merino wool from farmers in Australia who no longer practice mulesing.

Chairman of the Taskforce's operations group, Nyngan woolgrower Don Hamblin, said the outcome of the meeting was positive.

H&M was informed that the Australian wool industry is on track to phasing out mulesing by 2010, and that our commitment to them and other retailers remains unchanged,” said Mr Hamblin.

The comments are a departure from the Taskforce's policy of not publicly discussing conversations with retailers. However, this it was deemed necessary to respond to misinformation reported on Saturday.

“While H&M would still like to see Australian woolgrowers stop mulesing immediately, the Taskforce explained that without effective alternatives in place, to cease mulesing now would leave millions of Australian Merino sheep susceptible to a painful death from flystrike,” said Mr Hamblin.

“Until mulesing is phased out the industry will work with H&M in sourcing wool from Australian farmers who no longer undertake the procedure,” he continued.

Mulesing is a once-off animal husbandry practice used by Australian woolgrowers to prevent the painful and potentially fatal condition of flystrike that occursin the breech area of sheep. It provides lifetime protection against breech flystrike. Without it up to three million sheep could die of flystrike annually.

In November 2004 Australian wool and sheep industry leaders committed to phasing out the current practice of mulesing by 2010.

The Australian wool industry is the largest producer of the finest quality wool in the world and supports a high standard of animal welfare in caring for its sheep flock.

Wool Is Best

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