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Nationwide knitting stores support PETA on anti-wool campaign

June 29, 2005 (Australia)

After reviewing video footage showing the stunningly cruel treatment of sheep at the hands of the Australian wool industry, more than a dozen knitting and yarn stores spanning the country have announced that they will no longer buy Australian merino wool.

The stores include Allinda Knitting Boutique in Spokane, Wash.; The Quiltery in Battle Creek, Mich.; Jean’s Designer Yarn in Tamarac, Fla.; Elegant Stitch Ltd. in Pawleys Island, S.C.; Article Pract in Oakland, Calif.; and four businesses in the New York City area, including Plainview-based Yarn Garden, which told PETA, "We have always carried Australian merino wool in the past. … We, the owners of the shop, will not purchase this product from any of our companies until the practice of ‘mulesing’ and live exports has ended."

Mulesing is a painful mutilation in which Australian farmers use gardening shears to slice chunks of skin and flesh from lambs’ backsides—without any painkillers—in a crude attempt to reduce maggot infestation, even though humane control methods exist.

Every year, millions of Australian sheep are shipped on long voyages to the Middle East in open-decked ships through all weather extremes, mired in their own waste. Sick and injured sheep are thrown overboard to the sharks or ground up alive in mincing machines. When the survivors reach the Middle East, their throats are slit while they are still conscious.

These businesses join a growing list of prestigious retailers and fashion designers—including American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch, J.Crew, Timberland, and Limited Brands in the U.S. and New Look and George in the U.K. — that have joined the retailer-led movement to reform the Australian wool industry.

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