August 27, 2010 / 4:18 AM / 8 years ago

Miss Australia gets chocolate sheep for dumping skin

Miss Australia Jesinta Campbell competes in her Dar Be Dar swimsuit during the Miss Universe pageant swimsuit competition at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada August 23, 2010. REUTERS/Miss Universe Organization/Handout

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Australian beauty queen Jesinta Campbell, who came third in the Miss Universe pageant on Monday, has been sent a box of vegan chocolate sheep after deciding not to wear lamb’s wool clothing at the event.

Campbell, 19, had come under fire from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) for planning to model high-heeled woolly Ugg boots and a lamb’s wool shrug during the national-costume portion of the competition in Las Vegas.

PETA argued it was cruel and unethical to use Australian wool sourced from mulesed sheep — while other critics questioned the tackiness of the high-heeled Uggs.

Mulesing, a common practice among Australian farmers, involves removing strips of wool-bearing skin from the buttocks of sheep in a bid to reduce a potentially lethal maggot infestation called flystrike.

PETA said in a statement on its website that Campbell had opted for faux sheepskin, and the group sent her a box of politically correct chocolates in gratitude.

Campbell, who is due to return to Australia next week, came in behind winner Miss Mexico and runner-up Miss Jamaica.

Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Dean Goodman

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