03/10/05 Benetton: Blind to Animal Suffering

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Blindfolded activists protest against Benetton over Australian abuse of sheep

- PETA Wants Retailer to Stop Using Australian Wool Until Mutilation and Live Export End

Wearing blindfolds and carrying signs reading "Benetton: Blind to Animal Suffering," activists from Animal Friends will after last December's demo in Zagreb hold another actions in Pula and Rijeka and also give support to local activists and citizens in Sarajevo, Budapest, Belgrade, Ljubljana, and Maribor, thus supporting PETA's (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) international campaign against Benetton!

March is an international month of boycott of Benetton, and with this action Animal Friends will show potential customers a shocking video "Australia's Secret Shame" on a portable TV and hand out leaflets protesting horrific abuse of lambs and sheep by Australia's wool industry in order to convince the retail chain to ban garments made with Australian wool until a gruesome procedure called "mulesing" (live flaying) and live sheep exports are banned.

"Mulesing" is a crude mutilation whereby Australian farmers carve flesh from lambs' backsides with a pair of garden shears and without painkillers as a cheap way to try to reduce flystrike - which is when blowfly eggs hatch into maggots and eat away at the sheep - even though more sophisticated, humane blowfly control methods exist. When their wool is no longer the best, millions of sheep are shipped to the Middle East through all weather extremes aboard open-deck, multi-tiered ships. Many sick and injured sheep, treated as mere cargo, are thrown overboard or ground up alive in mincing machines. Many of those who survive the grueling voyage are fully conscious when their throats are slit.

After repeatedly asking the Australian government to end these atrocities, PETA announced an international boycott of Australian wool in mid-October last year and has already won the support of prestigious retailers Abercrombie & Fitch, New Look, George, and J.Crew.

The "united colors" of Benetton are turning to blood red, and if Benetton wants to wipe the blood of millions of sheep off its hands, it must refuse to sell clothes made from Australian wool.

PETA is urging consumers to boycott Benetton until it pledges to stop using Australian wool and is planning to bombard Benetton with ads and protests around the world to alert the public to the company's support of cruelty. For more information please visit PETA's Web site UnitedCrueltyofBenetton.com.

Maribor - March 30, 2005

Ljubljana - March 29, 2005

Belgrade - March 25, 2005

Budapest - March 21, 2005

Sarajevo - March 16, 2005

Rijeka - March 11, 2005

Pula - March 10, 2005



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