Tell the wool industry: surgery hurts!

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Make pain relief and training mandatory

Urge the Australian wool industry to make pain relief mandatory in all Australian shearing sheds; and to enforce proper training and accreditation for anyone carrying out surgical procedures on sheep. 

Many sheep crowded together during a sheep muster.

Make pain relief and training mandatory

Urge the Australian wool industry to make pain relief mandatory in all Australian shearing sheds; and to enforce proper training and accreditation for anyone carrying out surgical procedures on sheep. 

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CEO of WoolProducers Australia and Australian State Ministers for Agriculture
Dear Jo Hall and State Minister,


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Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated November 30, 2020

Beyond the shocking evidence of sheep being punched, stomped on and thrown inside Australian shearing sheds, footage of wounded sheep being roughly sewn up without pain relief exposed something even more disturbing — a cruel standard practice that MUST be stopped.

WARNING: This video contains confronting images

Past investigations conducted by PETA in shearing sheds across the country revealed the shocking abuse of Australian sheep, including sheep being kicked, stomped on, punched, struck with shears and thrown.

But perhaps more damning were the images of distressed sheep with gaping cuts having their wounds roughly sewn up… without any pain relief. Caring people across the nation, and the globe, were appalled to learn that this equally abusive practice was considered acceptable by industry standards – and it continues today.

Australian sheep are suffering due to ‘standard practice’

Cuts and flesh wounds to sheep are common during shearing, with fearful and stressed animals often roughly handled by workers whose pay is determined by the speed at which they work. Skill levels among shearers vary dramatically as there is no requirement for them to undergo formal training and accreditation. Neither is there a requirement for badly cut sheep to be administered pain relief or even antiseptic.

It’s little wonder sheep generally don’t like the shearing shed.

The stitching of open wounds is just one of a number of invasive and painful surgical procedures that sheep can endure, with mulesing, castration and tail docking routinely carried out without the provision of any pain relief — an act that would be considered a cruelty offence if committed on a dog or cat.

Simple, cheap pain relief is possible

It would cost less than 50 cents per sheep treated to have the readily available and easily administered Tri-solfen anaesthetic spray on hand in Australian shearing sheds. Tri-solfen is already used on some lambs to ease the pain of mulesing and also assists in the healing process.

The Australian Animal Welfare Standards & Guidelines for Sheep were reviewed — and approved — in 2016 and still do not require pain relief to be used for painful procedures.

You can be a voice for sheep

Please send an urgent, polite message to the Australian wool industry calling on them to introduce a compulsory training and accreditation scheme for anyone carrying out surgical procedures on sheep, and to make pain relief mandatory for invasive procedures performed on sheep Australia-wide.