Time is running out for mulesing as major fashion retailers announce phase out

RSPCA Australia has welcomed the decision from Country Road Group and David Jones to source certified non-mulesed wool for their wool and wool-rich clothing range by winter 2025, as further evidence that mulesing does not stack up against community expectations.

Country Road Group and David Jones join other global brands including H&M and Hugo Boss, who have all pledged to move away from wool that is sourced from sheep that have been mulesed.

Mulesing is a painful procedure that involves cutting crescent-shaped flaps of skin from around a lamb’s breech and tail using sharp shears. The procedure removes the woolly wrinkles and folds in the skin, making mulesed sheep less susceptible to flystrike.

RSPCA Australia believes that Australian farmers must transition away from mulesing, as well as provide pain relief to lambs during the procedure while it continues.

“This decision from two of Australia’s largest fashion retailers is further evidence that the community does not support mulesing of sheep – a procedure that can cause significant pain and distress to the animal,” Melina Tensen, Senior Scientific Officer (Farm Animals) at RSPCA Australia, said.

“Whilst the recent move from industry to supporting mandatory pain relief for mulesing is a positive first step, it is simply not enough to address the significant animal welfare issues associated with mulesing,”

“Breeding sheep that are not susceptible to flystrike and that do not require mulesing is the solution,

“As this decision from the Country Road Group and David Jones has shown, consumer attitudes are going to drive this change – it’s in the industry’s best interests to be ahead of the game and to lead this move away from mulesing sooner rather than later.”