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20 Genge St, Civic


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Sheep sheared for wool

Shearing is a serious welfare issue for sheep in Australia. During the shearing process sheep are often stabbed, cut, and treated badly, as the main concern is for the wool rather than for the sheep themselves. In a recent ABC documentary about the shearing industry, shearers admitted to beating up the sheep, whacking them with their handpiece, and even killing sheep during the process. Another horrific injury for male sheep occurs when their penis, or 'pizzle', is cut off during shearing and then sewn back on again (The Shearing Game, broadcast February 2012). Sheep are also often shorn during winter and other inappropriate times of the year, leaving them vulnerable to extreme weather conditions. For more information please visit


Flystrike has long plagued wool sheep living in hot and humid areas around Australia. Flystrike occurs when blowflies lay their eggs on the damp wool beneath the sheep’s tail and the resulting maggots eat the sheep’s flesh. Wool sheep farmers deal with the issue by tying up young lambs and slicing flesh from their buttocks. Most lambs also have their tails cut off and the males are castrated at the same time. As no anaesthetic or aftercare for pain and infection is applied, the procedures are extremely painful and the pain lasts for weeks. These procedures would be illegal if done to cats and dogs.

For more information please see


Mulesed and unmulesed sheep from an animal sanctuary outside Canberra (T Ward 2009)

Wool sheep

Rescued wool sheep in an animal sanctuary near Canberra (T Ward 2009)

Ultra fine wool

Most people think that all Australian sheep are raised in paddocks with plenty of grass and space in which to move around. However, ultra-fine wool growers keep thousands of sheep in tiny individual pens with very little space in which to move. Sheep bred for this industry are kept in these tiny pens 24 hours a day and can live up to five years in these conditions. Sheep raised in these conditions become highly stressed and engage in unusual behaviours such as head butting, nosing, chewing pen wire, and pacing. Most Australian sheep factory farms are in Victoria. One of these factory farms announced in December 2011 that it would cease producing ultra-fine wool by mid 2012.

For more information about this cruel practice that will continue in the remaining Australian factories, please see



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