Sheep in Australia

Debunk the myths about mulesing of sheep

Fact or Fiction? Find out the truth about mulesing!


Mulesing is a pain-free practice where wool is removed around the buttocks of lambs.

This is unfortunately fiction!

It is not just wool which gets removed, but rather large stripes of skin without adequate anaesthesia, which makes it extremely painful for the young lambs.
Read more here!

Mulesing is no longer necessary to save sheep from fly infestation (flystrike).

That's absolutely right

Luckily, mulesing isn't necessary since pain-free solutions exist and are available. Read more here.

Flystrike happens when flies lay eggs in the sheep's wrinkles and the hatched maggots bury themselves in the skin and flesh of the sheep.

Unfortunately, this is no fiction.

 These flies are especially attracted by moisture, urine and faeces retained in the animals wrinkly skin!

Mulesing always protects sheep from flystrike.

The sad truth is that this is fiction!

 Mulesing does not always protect the sheep from flystrike, as the flies can still infest the rest of the sheep’s body. 

Freeze mulesing or steining is a new invention where lambs get skin around their buttocks frozen off to prevent potential fly infestation.

It's a fact!

It sounds like a bad horror movie, but it is really true! Read more here. 

Merino sheep have so many wrinkles by nature.

This is fiction!

Since more than 100 years, Merino sheep have been overbred to have excessive wrinkles in order to produce more wool. Unfortunately, flies like to lay their eggs in these wrinkles, thus infesting the sheep. 

The more wrinkles sheep have the more wool they produce.

Another fiction!

Less wrinkly or wrinkle-free sheep are more resistant against flystrike and grow the same amount and same quality of wool as overbred sheep with excessive wrinkles.

Mulesing is a common practice for merino sheep farmers worldwide.

Yes, this is fiction! 

Australia is the only country in the world where mulesing is still being practiced, while its neighbour New Zealand banned mulesing in 2018.

Muslesing only affects some lambs. 

This is unfortunately fiction!

The procedure is performed annually without adequate pain relief on over 10 million lambs in Australia and it does not even solve the problem of fly infestation. Flies can still lay eggs in other skin folds on the sheep’s body (so called “'bodystrike').

FOUR PAWS explains mulesing 

Learn more about 'Mulesing Alternatives'