50,000 sport enthusiasts want NIKE to celebrate their 50th Birthday by stopping their use of cruel wool

FOUR PAWS welcomes strong support and urges market leader to switch to certified wool to help prevent the mutilation of lambs


London, 8 June 2022 – FOUR PAWS, the global animal welfare organisation, recently launched a successful campaign calling on NIKE to end the mutilation of merino lambs, which has so far received over 50,000 signatures.   

Our campaign demanding the eradication of the brutal procedure called ‘mulesing’ from their supply chain showcased the suffering lambs face through eye-opening footage which caused international public outrage. 

NIKE, the world’s biggest sportswear manufacturer, however, keeps ignoring the calls for change. 

In return, FOUR PAWS organised an action on NIKE’S biggest distribution hub in Laakdal, Belgium. During the night animal welfare activists projected the demand to #StopCruelWool onto the façade of the facility.  

With the campaign ending on the day of NIKE’S 50th anniversary, these 50,000 voices seem all the more impactful. 

Emily Wilson, FOUR PAWS UK Head of Programs stated: “NIKE is recognised around the world for being a leader in sportswear, but unfortunately, not in animal welfare. 

“While many brands have already made public commitments to exclude cruel mulesing from their supply chain, NIKE still continues to use such outdated practices. Globally over 300 brands have already published anti-mulesing policies and yet NIKE still fails to do the right thing. 

“More than that, NIKE continues to ignore, not only FOUR PAWS, but over 50,000 sport enthusiasts and NIKE fans around the world who are in support of our campaign and think that the brand can do better.  

Now it is time for NIKE to ‘just do it’ and show kindness to the millions of sheep that have to suffer from mulesing.” 


FOUR PAWS latest report revealed that merino wool is used in sports apparel for its beneficial characteristics such as breathability and odorless qualities. 

While many other brands – such as NIKE’S biggest competitors, Adidas and Puma – already made public commitments to exclude the cruel and outdated method, NIKE just does not respond to the public demand. 

FOUR PAWS has been campaigning for an end to the cruel mulesing procedure for many years. Mulesing involves cutting off large chunks of skin from two to ten-week-old lambs with sharp shears without the necessary pain relief. For the lambs, this means fear and stress, but above all great pain that can last for days. There have long been alternatives to this, such as switching to sheep breeds that are less susceptible to parasites. There are also certificates that trace wool back to the farms, in order to exclude cruel and outdated methods such as mulesing.  

Globally over 300 brands have already published anti-mulesing policies and in 2021, more than 30 brands even signed an open letter to the Australian wool industry to demand an end to the mutilation of lambs. Australia is the only country in the world where the method of mulesing is still practiced, with Australia being the number one producer of merino wool. 

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