So-Called ‘Miracle Drug’ Is Just Another Attempt to Pull the Wool Over the Eyes of Consumers

For Immediate Release:
April 25, 2005

Matt Rice 757-622-7382

Norfolk, Va. — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which has been pushing the Australian government and wool industry to end the cruel practices of mulesing and live sheep exports, is now confirming that recent media reports of a new mulesing spray are false and unfounded.

After seeing numerous news articles touting a mulesing pain-relief and antiseptic spray made by a company called Virbac, PETA contacted Virbac’s director of research and development, Dr. Paul Martin, and confirmed that "the article is not only inaccurate, but incorrect. Virbac do not have a mulesing product in development and the journalist who wrote the article did not speak to Virbac."

This discovery comes on the heels of a recent announcement that U.S. retail group SmartWool has struck a seven-year deal worth NZ$40 million (US$37.3 million) to buy New Zealand merino wool from farmers who end mulesing by the end of 2005. This deal gives New Zealand sheep farmers an advantage over Australian farmers, whose representatives, Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), failed to secure a similar deal.

Contrary to industry claims, mulesing—a gruesome procedure in which farmers use gardening shears to carve skin and flesh from lambs’ upturned, trussed backsides, without using painkillers—is not the most effective way to reduce flystrike. Several humane alternatives currently exist, including breeding for bare-breech sheep who are less susceptible to flystrike. AWI has also refused to address the issue of live exports, whereby millions of sheep are transported aboard massive "death ships" bound for the Middle East, where their throats are slit while they’re still conscious.

"The claim that there is a new topical spray that will have any effect on the pain that mulesing inflicts on sheep is outrageous," says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. "It’s just one more in a long line of falsehoods spewed forth by an industry that refuses to face the fact that it’s high time this unnecessary mutilation met its demise."

PETA Press Release:



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Original Article claiming NEW SPRAY AVAILABLE:

Sheep mulesing spray breakthrough

Wednesday, 20 April 2005

A mulesing anaesthetic and antiseptic spray is about to be announced that has the blessing of both national and international animal welfare groups.

Now in its commercial phase, the product has been tested in the field with "outstanding results" according to its developer, the Australian Wool Growers Association (AWGA).

The spray has been developed in association with doctors who specialise in treating burns victims and contains an anaesthetic to dull the pain of mulesing and an antiseptic to aid the healing of the wound.

The development is the first positive news for months in the mulesing debate, an issue largely dominated by negative news and court battles for the Australian sheep industry.

Field trials have proven the spray heals wounds faster than current methods and the weight gain of animals in the week after mulesing suggests it also dramatically reduced stress associated with the controversial practise.

The details of the spray will be announced at the AWGA annual general meeting on May 7. The cost of the spray is expected to be between 25 and 50 cents per head.

SOURCE: Extract from report in the April 21 issues of Queensland Country Life; The Land, NSW; Stock & Land, Vic; Stock Journal, SA; and Farm Weekly, WA.

Farmonline 21.04.05

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