At People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals they call mulesing "Australia's secret shame" but my guess it will be less of a secret quite soon. The decision of woolgrowers to dump the board of Australian Wool Innovations because they were committed to ending the practice of mutilating sheep by 2010 and install directors who want to continue the practice for longer, will infuriate the animal rights activists. Kevin Rudd for one can expect to receive a rash of emails saying something similar to this:
I was shocked to learn that Australian farmers continue to partially skin lambs alive, despite growing international pressure from retailers and consumers to implement long-term, humane alternatives. Instead of taking real action, the Australian wool industry has turned to cheap and cruel plastic mulesing "clips," which are as cruel as hacking lambs' skin and flesh away with shears and are equally ineffective against flystrike. There is overwhelming scientific evidence that mulesing is so cruel that it adversely affects lambs for months, and the "clips" also cause great pain to the lambs. Viable, humane alternatives are already in use by many Australian farmers. There's simply no reason for the Australian government to continue to allow cruel mulesing mutilations and live export.
That's the suggested form of words on the PETA website savethesheep.com this morning.