Japanese clothing giant Uniqlo is to phase out the use of wool from Australian suppliers who use a controversial method of pest control animal rights activists say is cruel.
The declaration comes after a campaign against the practice of "mulesing", a method in which farmers cut a section of the sheep's flesh away in a bid to prevent flystrike, a type of maggot infection.
"We are aware of concerns raised over the practice of mulesing sheep, and we have directed our merino wool suppliers to phase out sourcing wool from farms that practice mulesing," Uniqlo's parent company Fast Retailing said on its website.
Animal rights campaign group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Australia on Thursday welcomed the move, which comes after similar boycotts by fashion companies such as Hugo Boss, Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch and Adidas.
PETA's Jason Baker said: "The worldwide revolt against mulesed wool is in full swing, and the Australian wool industry would be wise to sit up and take notice."