Domestic sheep have lost their natural resistance to
fly-strike -- an agonizing disease in which maggots burrow and eat their
way into the animal's flesh. To prevent the disease, many lambs have
their tails docked, often by cutting without anesthetic. In Australia
they prevent the disease by performing an operation called 'mulesing' in
which folds of skin around the sheep's anus are sheared off, again
without anesthetic. They do this to 80% of their sheep (30% of the
world's wool comes from Australia).
Of UK wool, 27% is 'skin wool' (pulled from the skins of
slaughtered sheep and lambs).
Wool represents only 3-10% of a sheep farmer's profit,
the rest being made mostly through the sale of lambs for slaughter.
Altogether 20 million sheep and lambs are slaughtered in this England
Millions of lambs and sheep die every year worldwide
from exposure to cold after shearing. One million die in Australia
There are plenty of substitutes for wool, from good old
cotton in its infinite forms to the modern and actually far more
efficient synthetic "fleece" products.
Go on to Job
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