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Pain relief for Australian sheep

Mulesing, the surgical removal of a strip of wool-bearing wrinkle skin from around the tail of a sheep under no anesthesia, is standard practice in Australia. While animal welfare advocates claim that mulesing is a brutal practice given the pain and distress it causes to the animals, sheep producers say that they do it for the welfare of their sheep, much like factory farm owners say that they mutilate their animals without anesthesia (debeaking, tail-docking, castration, etc.) or confined them in such small cages that they cannot even turned around, for their own-well being.

Bayer, the German chemical and pharmaceutical company, has developed a powerful anesthetic, Tri-Solfen, for use in mulesing sheep. It is believed that this anesthetic will satisfy the increasing concern of wool retailers, consumers and animal right activists.

To read the full article please visit

and http://www.animallib.org.au/lists/mulesing/mules.shtml 

Although Bayer has evidently come up with an aid to alleviate animal suffering, practices such as mulesing should not take place as they are performed for the benefit of the victimizer and not the victim.

Clarification: The Australian sheep who suffer mulesing are Merino sheep since they have extra skin folds and therefore are more prone to the infestation of the Australian blowfly. Animals infested suffer agonizing wounds that lead to blood loss, septicemia and death. There’s controversy in that although mulesing clearly decreases the rate of blowfly infestation, it involves pain and suffering during the procedure and after until healing has occurred.

Opponents of mulesing state that the practice would not be necessary if these sheep were not bred in hot and humid places were the blowfly exists, and/or if a more frequent and close monitoring for flies were carried out.   (http://www.safe.org.nz/Campaigns/Scorned-Sheep/)

Supporters of mulesing state that it’s a necessary procedure to prevent a greater suffering and death of sheep; and that alternatives to mulesing are being researched

Your question and comments are welcome

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