LATEST: The Australian government has hit back at animal lover Pink following her appeal for a global boycott of the country's wool yesterday (19DEC06). The US singer has signed on to host a new People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals (PETA) video exposing lamb mutilations and sheep cruelty. She slammed the practice of "mulesing", where chunks of skin are carved from sheeps' backsides without any pain relief, as "sadistic". However, Australian Treasurer PETER COSTELLO claims the practice is necessary to prevent fatal maggot infestations. He says, "Pink is entitled to her views but at the end of the day would Australia's farmers take advice from Pink? "Sheep are at risk of being fly-blown and dying... it's not a pretty sight. Mulesing is not a pretty sight either but it's a damn sight more humane than letting a sheep die fly-blown in a paddock." Speaking in Paris, France on Tuesday, Pink said, "I am calling on consumers to check labels on sweaters before buying them, and if they're merino wool or made in Australia, to leave them on the racks."