On the eve of Nike’s annual shareholder meeting tomorrow, September 9th, FOUR PAWS is calling on Nike shareholders to speak up to protect innocent lambs. The global animal welfare organization recently launched a campaign to end the mutilation of merino lambs, and is asking Nike, the world’s largest sportswear manufacturer, to exclude the cruel and painful practice of mulesing from their wool supply chain.
FOUR PAWS has turned to Nike shareholders after the launch of their campaign earlier this year, which highlighted the release of the report, “Sweating The Details: World Leader Nike Lags Behind Competitors”. The report reveals that Merino wool is increasingly used in sports apparel for its beneficial characteristics such as breathability and odorless qualities. Additionally, the ten leading global sports brands use merino wool in their products, and Nike stands out in terms of poor animal welfare: Both Nike’s two largest competitors, Puma and Adidas, have already made plans to switch to certified mulesing-free wool (2025 and 2030 respectively). FOUR PAWS now calls on Nike to also take this important step towards improved animal welfare and spare millions of lambs every year from immense suffering and pain.
Mulesing involves cutting off large chunks of skin from young lambs, usually 6- 12 weeks old, sharp shears without using the necessary pain relief. For the lambs, this means fear and stress, but above all, great pain that can last for days to weeks. There have long been alternatives to this, such as switching to sheep breeds that are less susceptible to parasites. There are also certifications that trace wool back to the farms to exclude cruel and outdated methods such as mulesing.
Along with FOUR PAWS’ outreach to Nike and Nike shareholders, over 50K people have already sent protest letters encouraging the company to join the movement. Globally, over 300 brands have already published anti-mulesing policies, and today an open letter signed by over 50 brands and retailers to demand an end to the mutilation of lambs was presented during a conference. Australia is the only country in the world where the method of mulesing is still practiced. The country is also the number one producer of merino wool.
Ahead of the Nike shareholder meeting, FOUR PAWS, among others is asking Nike to #StopCruelWool. For more information, click here.