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Celebrities join rank for cause of wool
Jun '08
A group of Australian celebrities have joined ranks to back Australian farmers in the face of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' (PETA) anti-mulesing campaign.

The “Get off our backs” campaign is being promoted by Sydney-based News Limited publication The Daily Telegraph and sees high profile Australians turning the tables on PETA's own celebrity-backed efforts.

Leading Australian fashion designers Alex Perry and Jayson Brunsdon, singers Shannon Noll, Gina Jeffreys and John Williamson, Australian rugby player Nathan Hindmarsh and models Kristy Hinze and Sidney Roberts have all joined the campaign.

“I understand where [PETA] are coming from, there needs to be alternatives to mulesing, but give farmers a chance to develop it,” Mr Perry told The Daily Telegraph, who is also a judge on Australia's Next Top Model.

“Wool is a huge export and the rest of the world gets our best, but PETA goes to the extreme and it doesn't understand how it impacts on our industry.”

Jayson Brunsdon, the designer behind a number of Australian Merino wool garments worn by Princess Mary of Denmark and former Miss Universe, Jennifer Hawkins, is a huge supporter of the industry.

“I love working with wool. It's reusable, sustainable and biodegradable,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

“You can shave it off the sheep's back and grow it out the next year without killing any animal.”

Retail chains Myer, Cue and Country Road, the biggest Australian buyer of Australian Merino wool, have also rallied behind growers.

Australia's Federal Agriculture Minister Tony Burke also supports the campaign, saying, “a boycott is a punishing blow for our farmers who have done nothing wrong – in the middle of our country's toughest drought.”

Don Hamblin, Chairman of the Australian Wool and Sheep Industry Taskforce Operations Group said: “this “Get off our backs” campaign has provided woolgrowers with a much needed reprieve from the sense of isolation created by the increasing pressure they've felt from activists and retailers since PETA began its global campaign four years ago.”

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