Asking Athletes, Investors to Speak Up for the Sheep

With strong public support, FOUR PAWS urges Nike to switch to certified wool to help prevent cruelty to lambs 


Athletes, Investors Asked to Speak Up for Sheep

With strong public support, FOUR PAWS urges Nike to switch to certified wool to help prevent cruelty to lambs

BOSTON, AUGUST 8, 2022 – 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 There are also certifications that trace wool back to the farms to exclude cruel and outdated methods such as mulesing.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 please visit,

FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organization for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need, and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler and friends, the organization advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy, and understanding. FOUR PAWS’ sustainable campaigns and projects focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats, and orangutans – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam, as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in eleven countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. 

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