Following a petition by animal rights organization Four Paws to ban mulesing of lambs, German sportswear brand Puma has confirmed that it would not use uncertified wool of animal cruelty origin.
Puma follows Calvin Klein and Marks & Spencer in banning lamb mutilation in their supply chains, with Four Paws urging Nike and Adidas to follow suit and exclude this cruel procedure from their wool products.
These brands will stop using so-called mulesing wool by 2025 at the latest. Wide strips of skin are removed from the hindquarters of weeks-old Merino lambs using sharp shears and normally without anesthesia while they are mulesed. This is done to reduce the chance of fly infestation, but Four Paws explains that there are painless solutions to mulesing.
Rebecca Picallo Gil, a wool activist for Four Paws, said they are very happy that Calvin Klein, Marks, and Spencer, and now Puma have agreed, with their help, to abolish this barbaric and long-outdated practice in the coming years.
She adds that this is a strong market indicator for wool farmers and a significant move toward a future free of mulesing. They hope that other brands will follow suit, saving millions of lambs from needless mutilation.
Australia, the only country in the world where mulesing is still practiced, exports more than 75% of wool and up to 90% of fine merino wool used in the global fashion industry, according to Four Paws. There are, however, alternatives to mulesing, such as converting to less vulnerable to flystrike sheep breeds.
Any certificates attest to the absence of this barbaric method, with the RWS being the most comprehensive wool quality available today, focusing on the elimination of mulesed wool, increased sheep health, and complete supply chain traceability.
Four Paws said without requirements like the RWS, fashion brands have no way of knowing what conditions the sheep whose wool they buy reside under or whether mulesing-free wool has been combined with mulesing wool anywhere along the supply chain.
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