WHAT’S WRONG WITH WOOL?Scientists over the years have bred a Merino sheep which is exaggeratedly wrinkled. The more wrinkles, the more wool. Unfortunately, greater profits are rarely in the sheep’s best interests. In Australia, more wrinkles mean more perspiration and greater susceptibility to fly-strike, a ghastly condition resulting from maggot infestation in the sweaty folds of the sheep’s over-wrinkled skin. To counteract this, farmers now perform an ‘operation’ without anaesthetic call ‘mulesing’ in which sections of flesh around the anus are sliced away, leaving a painful bloody wound.
Without human interference, sheep would grow just enough wool to protect them from the weather, but scientific breeding techniques have ensured that these animals have become wool-producing monstrosities.
Their unnatural overload of wool (often half their body weight) brings added misery during summer months when they often die from heat exhaustion. One million sheep die in Australia alone each year from exposure to cold after shearing.
Every year, in Australia alone, about ten million lambs die before they are more than a few days old. This is due largely to unmanageable numbers of sheep and inadequate stockmen. Of UK wool, 27% is “skin wool,” pulled from the skins of slaughtered sheep and lambs.