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Anderson slams PETA boycott of Benetton.



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The Hon John Anderson MP Acting Prime Minister Minister for Transport and Regional Services

Anderson Slams PETA Boycott of Benetton

A7/2005 20

th January 2005

The Australian Government has strongly condemned an extremist animal liberation organisation for staging a worldwide boycott against international manufacturer and retailer, Benetton, to protest against the company buying Australian woolen products, the Acting Prime Minister and leader of The Nationals, John Anderson, said today.

“It is unnecessary, shortsighted and only highlights the dishonest campaign the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is waging against Australia’s $7 billion sheep and wool industries through this boycott and its other actions,” Mr Anderson said.

“The campaign is all the more incredible because PETA refuses to recognise the progress Australia is making to ensure the highest standards of livestock welfare.

“PETA is aware, for example, of the Australia Animal Welfare Strategy, endorsed in May last year (www.daff.gov.au/naws), which is based on the principal that good health is an essential component of good animal welfare and diseases should be prevented and controlled.

“The Government is continuing to work with the livestock industries to achieve world’s best animal health and welfare outcomes in the livestock production sector.”

Mr Anderson said PETA was using the demonstrations to voice its concern about the use of mulesing, a sheep husbandry practice used as part of an integrated control strategy to prevent painful deaths due to blowfly strike.

“However, it has ignored the industry’s commitment to phasing out the procedure by 2010. The Australian Government is jointly funding research and supporting industry moves for this to happen.

“Meanwhile, industry is being encouraged to reduce the need for mulesing by adopting an integrated approach to managing the risk of blowfly strike.

“PETA has also chosen to ignore Australia’s Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Sheep, developed with industry bodies, animal welfare, veterinary and other organisations. The code sets standards for the procedure.

“Australia is constantly seeking to improve all its animal welfare practices, including those for fly strike prevention. We have begun reviewing the code in consultation with State and Territory governments, and other stakeholders, and are looking at all current sheep husbandry procedures, including mulesing.

“The Government fully supports Benetton’s position not to be intimidated by PETA’s tactics. It believes it is unfair for companies such as Benetton to be used as pawns in a dispute that relates solely to PETA and the Australian wool industry.

“The Government fully supports the Australian wool industry and its actions in the face of a campaign that would lead to the painful death of millions of Australian sheep.”

Media contact: Paul Chamberlin 02 62777680 / 0419 233989