• Editorial

Success for Sustainable, animal-based Production




To stop the mutilation of lambs, FOUR PAWS applauds the strong signal and implores the market leader to switch to certified wool.


Vienna, June 8th, 2022 The international animal rights organization FOUR PAWS recently started a successful campaign to stop the deformity of merino lambs, and it has already gathered more than 50,000 signatures. The largest sportswear company, Nike, continues to defy pleas for change and includes the cruel practice of mulesing in their supply chain despite fresh video evidence that has outraged people all over the world by showing numerous lambs being brutally mutilated.


In response, FOUR PAWS organized a protest at Nike's flagship European Logistics Campus in Laakdal, Belgium, the US company's largest distribution base in the continent. In honor of Nike's 50th anniversary, animal welfare activists projected the demands of 50,000 people onto the building's façade throughout the night.


“Nike is recognised around the world for being a leader in sportswear, but unfortunately, not in animal welfare. While many brands have already made public commitments to exclude the cruel and outdated method from their supply chain, Nike still continues to use such outdated practices. Globally over 300 brands have already published anti-mulesing policies and yet Nike still fails to act and do the right thing."

Rebecca Picallo Gil, Head of the wool campaign at FOUR PAWS, stated.


"More than that, Nike continues to disobey not just FOUR PAWS but also more than 50,000 sports fans and Nike supporters worldwide who support our cause and believe that the company can do more than this. It is now time for Nike to take action and be kind to the millions of sheep who must endure mulesing.

Background


According to the most recent assessment by FOUR PAWS, merino wool is utilized in sports gear because of its advantageous attributes, including breathability and odorlessness.

As the largest sportswear producer in the world, Nike is depending on strong certifications for traceability and transparency to achieve its goal of eliminating the use of mulesed wool from its product line. Nike just ignores the public's demand, despite the fact that many other companies—including Nike's main rivals, Adidas and Puma—have previously made public vows to do so.


For many years, FOUR PAWS has advocated against the torturous mulesing process. Mulesing entails using sharp shears to remove sizable portions of skin off two to ten-week-old lambs without providing the required analgesia. For the lambs, this results in anxiety and tension, but most importantly intense suffering that may endure for days. Alternatives to this have existed for a very long time, such as moving to sheep breeds with lower parasite susceptibility. In order to rule out inhumane and antiquated practices like mulesing, there are additional certificates that track wool back to the farms.


In 2021, more than 30 brands even signed an open letter to the Australian wool industry to seek a stop to the mutilation of lambs. Over 300 brands worldwide have already issued anti-mulesing policies. With Australia being the world's top producer of merino wool, mulesing is still used in only one other country: Australia.


Even if the conviction of mega-corporations like Nike as single individuals sometimes seems impossible, a breakthrough for justice succeeds with the right means and strategies. The global society consists of people with innovative ideas and interests with one overriding goal to realize the Sustainable Development Goals. In this case, an organization initiated awareness under whose sail a campaign was contested, to which thousands of people eventually joined. While the actual goal may still be far off, something was accomplished: more and more people learned about the problem and the unjust machinations, outreach was increased, and individuals who previously thought they wouldn't be heard get to feel that together they can make a difference. Source: https://www.four-paws.org/our-stories/press-releases/over-50-000-sport-enthusiasts-want-50-year-jubilee-nike-to-stop-using-cruel-wool