Australia, Pink at odds over wool

Dec. 20, 2006 at 1:58 PM

SYDNEY, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Australian government officials have struck back against U.S. pop singer Pink's recent condemnation of their country's wool industry.

The BBC reported that the "I'm Not Dead" singer had previously called for a boycott of the Australian industry over the unethical nature of its practice of gathering wool from lambs without anesthetic.

Australian Treasurer Peter Costello is headlining the response against Pink, whose real name is Alecia Moore, and defended his nation's practice of "mulesling," which is removing wool from a lamb's hindquarters without a sedative.

"Sheep are at risk of being fly-blown and dying... it's not a pretty sight," Costello claimed. "Mulesing is not a pretty sight either but it's a damn sight more humane than letting a sheep die fly-blown in a paddock."

The practice of "mulesling" has been banned throughout Britain and Moore is following in the footsteps of actress Toni Collette and singer Chrissie Hynde who previously campaigned against the harvesting procedure, the BBC said.

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