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Pink whips up Aussie fury

Pink has got the Australian government’s knickers in a twist over her promotion of a campaign against the country’s wool industry. The pop star – well-known for her animal rights beliefs – used her recent Paris concert to encourage her fans to boycott products made with Australian wool in protest at the controversial practice of mulesing, where farmers cut loose skin from the backsides of sheep to discourage flies. “If they’re merino wool or made in Australia, leave them on the rack,” she says, in support of a campaign run by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Australian Treasurer Peter Costello retorts, “You know, Pink is entitled to her views but, at the end of the day, would Australia’s farmers take advice from Pink?” He adds that he is no fan of mulesing, which is to be phased out within four years, but says the alternative of maggot infestation and slow death from flystrike was worse. “It’s not a pretty sight. oulesing is not a pretty sight either but it’s a damn sight more humane than letting a sheep die fly-blown in a paddock.” [21 December 2006]

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