Wheatbelt Cultural Forum
Temporary exhibition Space, Stubbs Street, Lake Grace
21 Sept - 3 Nov 2006
This 11m billboard erected in Manhattan was the impetus as the subject for this exhibition, consisting of three responding billboards and two plinth works containing samples of live and dead flyblown wool that are the actual reality of farming.
During the exhibition blowflies and other bushflies were attracted to the temporary exhibition space just as they would be to a flystruck sheep. The air was thick with the sound of thousands and thousands of buzzing flies, and the walls were darkened by their sheer numbers. This along with the smell of the flystruck wool provided a very potent response to the mulesing debate that assaulted all the senses.
Mulesing prevents 3 million sheep per year in Australia from being flyblown or dying from flystrike. In a fly struck sheep, after 48hrs from being struck a bacterial infection occurs and if left untreated causes toxaemia or septicaemia. This leads to a certain death for the sheep. The Australian wool industry is working on breeding the bare breeches and rear end of the sheep into its genetics and laws have been passed for mulesing.
Under Regulation 8(2) of the new Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (POCTA) Regulations 2019, a person must not mules a sheep unless the sheep is administered with a pain relief product that has been registered for use on sheep by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.
The propaganda generated by PETA is costs the Australian wool industry millions of dollars. One of PETA’s favourite ways of grabbing headlines is to place extremist propaganda statements on billboards in prominent places. This billboard was displayed on a Manhattan building in Times Square and was subsequently removed by the owner. While wishing to bring others to task it seems PETA isn’t the squeaky clean outfit that it proclaims.
On examination PETA has links to militant groups the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) both serious domestic terrorist threats in the US as classified by the FBI. The two groups are responsible for more than 600 crimes since 1996 causing $43 million in damage. During the past 10 years PETA has spent four times as much on criminals and their legal defence than it has on shelters, spay neutering programs and other efforts that help animals.
Between 1998-2019 PETA put to death 41,539 dogs, cats, and other animals. The reports are displayed on their site.
PETA finds homes for only 14% of the animals that are entrusted to its care at their Norfolk, Virginia headquarters. Other animal shelters working in the same work find adoptive homes for between 66%-73% of their animals.
The hypocrisy of PETA’s actions has spawned the website www.petakillsanimals.com. Started by the Centre for Consumer Freedom, the website tries to address some of the untruths spread by PETA and at the same time keeping PETA accountable for their own actions.