Al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based Arab television network famous for airing images of beheadings and mutilated bodies, rejected a 30-second commercial from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals showing abuse of Australian sheep.

The sheep, raised for wool, are later shipped alive to the Middle East for slaughter. The footage shows lambs partially skinned alive during a procedure called “mulesing.” Sheep are repeatedly kicked as they are loaded onto what PETA calls “death ships.” Other sheep are are shown being dragged and kicked in the head as their throats are slit while other sheep watch.

The ad includes a narration of the following quote by the late Imam B.A. Hafiz al-Masri of the Shah Jehan Mosque located in the United Kingdom: “If animals have been subjected to cruelties in their breeding, transport, slaughter, or in their general welfare, meat from them is considered impure and unlawful to eat (haram). The flesh of animals killed by cruel methods (Al-Muthiah) is carrion (Al-Mujathamadh). Even if these animals have been slaughtered in the strictest manner, if cruelties were inflicted on them otherwise, their flesh is still forbidden food (haram).”

According to PETA, “mulesing” is a mutilation in which Australian farmers use gardening shears to cut skin and flesh from lambs’ backsides – without painkillers – in a crude attempt to reduce maggot infestation. Millions of Australian sheep are shipped to the Middle East.

“Since Australian sheep are haram on the grounds of cruelty to animals, we call on people in the Middle East to consider whether importing live sheep from Australia is in accordance with Islamic law,” says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk.

PETA urged Al-Jazeera to reconsider accepting the ad, which is part of PETA’s international campaign calling for a boycott of Australian wool until mulesing and live exports are stopped.

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