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Mulesing is the removal of the skin around the tails of sheep without pain relief. It is a common practice in Australia to prevent fly maggot infestation (myiasis).

Mulesing is named after John WH Mules, who developed this technique. While shearing a ewe that had experienced multiple infestations of flies, he slipped and removed a piece of skin. When he used this on several other sheep, he found that it significantly reduced fly maggot infestations. The process evolved over the years and became widespread in Australia in the 1930s. The fly species Lucilia cuprina, which is mainly responsible for myiasis in Australian sheep, was probably introduced from South Africa in the 19th century.

Animal rights activists have criticized mulesing without anesthesia as inhumane and unnecessary. They also argue that mulesing prevents natural resistance to the fly infestation from developing. In addition, the effect of the procedure is generally doubted, since the maggots also nest in other skin folds on the body.

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