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Geijer, Johanna, 2009. Mulesingens historia och framtid, samt dess konsekvenser för djurvälfärden.. First cycle, G2E. Skara: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health

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Abstract

Mulesing is a surgical husbandry procedure performed on lambs in Australia. The reason is to
prevent severe fly-strike to the breech area, which otherwise risks to be soiled with faeces.
This problem is mainly occurring in sheep of the Merino breed. Their fine wool is in demand
worldwide due to high quality. Mulesing has been performed since the 1930’s, and even
though alternative methods have been discussed nothing is yet generally accepted. Mulesing
will be phased out by 2010, and alternatives presented by Australian Wool Innovation
Limited (Australian wool producers) are non-surgical mulesing, such as plastic clips that are
attached to the skin wrinkles to stop the blood flow and cause necrosis. Another alternative is
to inject chemicals in the skin of the lamb, the chemicals causes the skin proteins to denaturise
and the breech wrinkle falls off. None of these alternatives has proven to be less painful than
mulesing, and are not accepted by Animals Australia, Australia’s national animal protection
organisation. The only sustainable alternative is to genetically develop sheep that are resistant
to fly-strike. Through breeding programs it is possible to get sheep with smooth wool-free
breeches, where the results are as good as, or even better than with the Mules operation. In
Sweden retailers and consumers have reacted to the cruel treatment of the lambs, after a TVprogramme
broadcasted in 2008. Many retailers have since made changes in their routines,
and are now claiming guarantees from their suppliers. It is still hard to trace mulesing-free
wool from Australia today. As a conscious consumer one has responsibility to get information
about how products are made, and it is hard to do, since production chains are not completely
transparent. Animal welfare is often in clash with economic interests, and in the case of
mulesing, there is also a conflict between the suffering of the procedure itself and the
suffering of fly-strike. Breeding programs will take time, and there is a need for more
research.

Main title:Mulesingens historia och framtid, samt dess konsekvenser för djurvälfärden.
Authors:Geijer, Johanna
Supervisor:Larsson, Birgitta
Examiner:Yngvesson, Jenny
Series:Studentarbete (Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för husdjurens miljö och hälsa)
Volume/Sequential designation:274
Year of Publication:2009
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK002 Ethology and Animal Welfare - Bachelor's Programme 180 HEC
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health
Keywords:mulesing, djurvälfärd, merinofår, konsument
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-6-45
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-6-45
Subjects:Animal husbandry
Language:Swedish
Deposited On:01 Jul 2009 06:24
Metadata Last Modified:20 Apr 2012 14:09

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