A growing number of global clothing manufacturers are surrendering to intense lobbying from animal welfare groups.
The latest is German sportswear company Puma which has set a 2025 target to stop using Australian wool from mulesed sheep in its products.
The animal welfare organisation Four Paws says the move is the result of its campaign to "ban this cruel practice".
Puma, and other soccer boot manufacturers are under intense pressure to stop using Australian kangaroo leather as well.
Four Paws claims Puma is joining Calvin Klein and Marks and Spencer who have also agreed to ban mulesed wool in their supply chains.
Dekkers, the US company involved in a trademark fight over naming rights for Ugg boots, has also adopted a policy on mulesing.
"Sheepskin and wool suppliers must certify that they do not supply any materials or products to Deckers from sheep which have been mulesed. Further, Deckers will accept Merino wool from Australia only from certified non-mulesed or ceased-mulesed wool sources," the company says.
"Puma is not using wool from mulesed sheep; we are working at sourcing only from Responsible Wool Standard certified wool suppliers by 2025," Puma says in its updated animal welfare policy.
Four Paws has now switched its focus to Nike and Adidas to follow suit.
By many estimates, about 70 per cent of Australia Merino sheep undergo mulesing to prevent fly strike.
Australian farmers have been rapidly adopting pain relief as routine in their on-farm procedures.
"Puma has made a commercial decision, they are entitled to do what they like," Mr Storey said.
He said Australia already produced the largest quantity of non-mulesed wool in the world.
There are already market signals for growers with premiums of up to five per cent being paid for auction given the non-mulesed wool meets the buyer's other specifications.
Growers also point to the suffering caused to sheep from flystrike.
MORE READING: Fashion brands come out against mulesing.
"We know some customers are concerned about the practice, that's why we are being open and honest about what we do," Mr Storey said.
"The health and welfare of our animals is paramount to our growers."
He said growers invested in research and innovation and operated in a "robust regulatory environment".
He said an increasing number of growers were breeding sheep which did not require mulesing.
Mr Storey also said it had been "a bad year" for flystrike already.
Four Paws wool campaigner Rebecca Picallo Gil said her organisation wanted to see a blanket ban "on this cruel and long-outdated method".
"This is a clear demand signal to wool producers and a real step towards a mulesing-free future. We hope that many more brands will follow suit and spare millions of lambs from this unnecessary mutilation," she said.
Start the day with all the big news in agriculture! Sign up below to receive our daily Farmonline newsletter.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.