Ethical issues associated with sheep fly strike research, prevention, and control

Fly strike is a painful conditioncaused by live maggots eating at the flesh of sheep.Remedies for this disorder are traumatic, with sheepundergoing painful mulesing and tail dockingoperations to protect against flystrike. In an attemptto find control solutions and to understand thedisorder, Australasian researchers increase sheepsuffering by conducting experiments that artificiallyinduce fly strike. Some of these experiments have noapplication in prevention and control of fly strike.Many others could be modified or replaced with lesspainful techniques.Anecdotal evidence through communication withorganic farmers suggests that fly strike is largelypreventable if farmers keep sheep healthy and inspectthem regularly. Some organic farmers have largelyeliminated fly strike from their farm. Investigationson fly strike control using non-intrusive techniquesare also progressing in Australasia and the UnitedKingdom.
Keywords Animal welfare  Australia  blowfly  fly strike  New Zealand  sheep  United Kingdom
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DOI 10.1023/A:1009541810740
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Joanne Sneddon & Bernard Rollin (2010). Mulesing and Animal Ethics. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 23 (4):371-386.

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