Mulesing, the standard mutilation of Australian sheep


The Thylazine Foundation: Arts, Ethics and Literature
(Ballarat, Victoria, Australia)
Photos by Patty Mark. Text by Coral Hull.



This raw and bloody wound on the backside of a sheep is known as 'Mulesing'.
Mulesing is a cruel alternative to proper sheep management or caring for sheep as companion animals.
It involves cutting off skin and flesh the size of a dinner plate from the back end of a merino lamb,


and sometimes from the shoulders and face as well.
No anesthetic is used.
Mulesing was 'invented' in 1923 by a farmer called Mules as a 'cure' for flystrike.
This barbaric practice is done to remove folds of skin which attract the blowfly to lay her eggs.
It is still in prominent use in Australia,
particularly for flocks exceeding 10,000 in which case 95% of sheep are mulesed.
These photos capture the actions of people involved in this extraordinary animal abuse.
A flock of sheep walking away from the Australian sheep industry.
One little lamb with a bloody backside.

Information on Australian Writer and Photographer Dr. Coral Hull

The Thylazine Foundation


see also

MULESING – A Farmers view to this cruel 'backstreet' mutilation.

Department of Agriculture, Western Australia Sheep Arthritis

return to Mulesing Index