Swedes strip off over ‘cruel’ Aussie wool

Swedish animal rights activists have stripped off in an effort to get Swedes to boycott Australian wool, saying the way it is produced is cruel to sheep.

Swedes strip off over 'cruel' Aussie wool

The group, from the Swedish branch of international animal rights group Peta, carried out the naked protest in front of the Australian Embassy in Stockholm on Monday.

They were demonstrating against a procedure known as mulesing, in which strips of wrinkly skin are removed from lambs in order to prevent infestation by maggots.

“There are plenty of alternatives, but the farmers don’t choose them because they are more expensive and because they are tied to tradition,” Ludvig Lindström, a Swedish animal rights activist, told The Local.

Lindström added that Australian sheep have been bred with extra-wrinkly skin in order to produce more wool, something he said makes the sheep more vulnerable to flystrike, or maggot infestation.

Stripping was a good way to let the public know about the issue, Lindström told The Local.

“We want to bring attention to this cause and show the naked truth about the Australian wool industry,” Lindström said, adding that “a lot of people who came up and spoke to use were surprised at what we told them.”

The Australian Wool Growers Association has said it is committed to phasing out mulesing by 2010, and is researching the alternatives.