Uneasy truce for animal rights group

The Australian wool industry recently said that it had dropped court action against an animal rights group after it agreed to end its campaign to boycott retailers selling Australian wool.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (peta) has long waged a war against the practice of sheep mulesing, by which folds of skin are removed to prevent flystrike. peta and the Australian Wool Innovation (awi) agreed that peta will stop targeting individual retailers until 2010, when the practice of mulesing will be phased out. "This gives us the ability to develop alternatives without having to worry about maniacs throwing red paint all over retail stores,' said Ian McLachlan, chairperson of awi.

However, peta founder Ingrid Newkirk says while the organisation will not call for a boycott of specific retailers, it will still urge people not to buy Australian wool. "The boycott of Australian wool is on,' she said.