Definition of mulesing in English:



mass noun
  • The process of removing folds of skin from the tail area of a sheep, intended to reduce fly strike.

    • ‘Let us look at what happened to the Australian meat industry when it was discovered by consumers overseas that farmers were mulesing their sheep.’
    • ‘If People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals stops campaigning, the association agreed that its members should use pain killers on sheep before and after mulesing, among other steps, until the practice is phased out by 2010.’
    • ‘An almost painless alternative to mulesing for sheep could be on the market within the next three to four years.’
    • ‘But a practice known as mulesing, which targets the nether regions of sheep, has been pushed in the faces of consumers by animal rights activists who claim the procedure is inhumane and outdated.’
    • ‘People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sustains that between 20 and 40 percent of Australian wool comes from producers who do not practice mulesing.’
    • ‘It will stop the flies and the need for mulesing.’
    • ‘I'm aware of some farmers who have already stopped mulesing (admittedly easier in some parts of Australia than others).’
    • ‘John Carmody, who led the banner-wielding group outside Benetton on Dublin's St Stephen's Green, claimed a ‘gruesome’ procedure called mulesing was being used on the lambs.’
    • ‘But back to the main point: hopefully the Australian industry will adopt more humane alternatives to mulesing, and give up on the Saudi Arabian market.’
    • ‘The welfare and rights of animals have attracted a lot of attention recently, with the heated debate over the mulesing of sheep and the live animal export trade.’


1940s from the name of John H. W. Mules (1876–1946), the Australian sheep farmer who developed the process, + -ing.