Distributed by former Australian Wool Innovation board member and prominent European wool-buyer and processor Laurence Modiano, director of G Modiano Limited, the petition has reignited fears about consumer rejection of mulesing.
The petition has been signed by 34 mill directors, representing 70 per cent of the active global wool combing capacity, and has called the industry to make pain relief a legal requirement for all on-farm sheep surgery and compulsory declaration of growers’ mulesing status.
Mulesing is considered a more humane animal welfare practice to prevent sheep from suffering flystrike and involves cutting the skin around a sheep's buttocks.
With more customers demanding full traceability, the petition states those who sell wool should be legally obliged to fill in the Australian Wool Exchange’s National Wool Declartion, or risk being discounted.
The move has also urged industry bodies to market Australian woolgrowers’ improved animal welfare standards.
The petition has been supported by mills in China, United Kingdom, Italy, India, Japan and across Europe.
Mr Modiano has distributed the petition to Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce urging action on mulesing practices to meet public expectations on animal welfare stands.