6 September, 2016. 12:34
ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
ANIMAL RIGHTS GROUPS HAVE expressed their outrage over plans by the Goulburn Mulwaree Council to mules the Big Merino, one of the Southern Tablelands’ biggest tourist attractions.
A spokeswoman from PETA has lashed out the council, saying the ‘barbaric’ and ‘outdated’ practice of mulesing sheep has already begun being phased out by farmers in the district and the council is sending the wrong message.
“While I understand that it’s important to do all you can to prevent flystrike in a sheep, it’s 2016 and there are viable alternatives now that don’t cause physical pain to the animal,” she said.
“And yes, I have seen a flyblown sheep. I’m not one of those inner-city greenies that don’t know the first thing about farming. If the Big Merino gets flyblown, the smell and appearance could drive tourists away, which will cripple the local economy,”
“We’d also ask the Council to ban people from crawling around inside the sheep like maggots. Having an observation desk in it’s head is grotesque. It’s disgusting that people think it’s still OK to do that in 2016.” she explained.
The Big Merino, built in 1985 is a monument to Goulburn and the surrounding district’s fine wool industry. Standing 15.2 meters high, 18 meters long and weighing 97 tonnes he is an impressive life-like model of Rambo, a stud Ram from a local property, ‘Bullamallita’.
All the more reason, local tourism director Glenn Mullaway, says Council don’t need to consult a veterinarian or even have a mulesing ticket perform the act on the statue.
“I’m lost for words, I thought you were having a joke with me. But, no,” he said.
“We’ve responded to the folks at PETA, saying we’ll put in all appropriate measures to make sure the animal is subjected to any unnecessary pain or discomfort. However, these renovations will be going ahead no matter what,”
“What we didn’t realise when we put the thing in it’s new spot was is that the view is much better behind it, as opposed to out of Rambo’s eyes. All we’re doing is replacing the skin under his arsehole with a window so people can enjoy the better view,” he said.
The Advocate reached out PETA for comment but has yet to receive a reply.