Oct 4, 2005

Australia's Secret Shame


In Australia, the most commonly raised sheep are Merinos, specifically bred to have wrinkly skin, which means more wool per animal. This unnatural overload of wool causes many sheep to collapse and even die of heat exhaustion during hot months, and the wrinkles collect urine and moisture. Attracted to the moisture, flies lay eggs in the folds of skin, and the hatched maggots can eat the sheep alive. To prevent this so-called "flystrike," Australian ranchers perform a barbaric operation-called "mulesing"-where they force live sheep onto their backs, restrain their legs between metal bars, and, without any painkillers whatsoever, slice dinner-plate-sized chunks of flesh from around their tail area. This is done to cause smooth, scarred skin that can't harbor fly eggs. Ironically, the exposed, bloody wounds themselves often get flystrike before they heal.

Within weeks of birth, lambs' ears are hole-punched, their tails are chopped off, and the males are castrated without anesthetics. Male lambs are castrated when they are between 2 and 8 weeks old, either by making an incision and cutting their testicles out or with a rubber ring used to cut off blood supply-one of the most painful methods of castration possible. Every year, hundreds of lambs die before the age of 8 weeks from exposure or starvation, and mature sheep die every year from disease, lack of shelter, and neglect.

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2 comments:

Jasonmumbles said...

Mutton still tastes that good ever. :D

cheahwey said...

it may be good but they dont have to go through that.