Australian Treasurer Peter Costello has hit back at a campaign by pop star Pink to boycott Australian wool products.

Pink has joined a protest run by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) against the controversial practise of mulesing, which involves cutting loose skin from the backsides of sheep to ward off flies.

Pink had declared: "The wool trade uses methods so sadistic that it makes you consider clearing your closet of any animal products," and in a video showed the apparent suffering sheep suffer when their skin is cut without pain relief.

But Costello told reporters in capital Canberra: "I don't know if Pink is an expert on the sheep industry.

"Pink is entitled to her views but at the end of the day would Australia's farmers take advice from Pink?"

Costello admitted that mulesing "is not a pretty sight" but argued that is a "a damn sight more humane" than a sheep dying from fly-strike.

The entertainer also describes the treatment of sheep that, when they no longer produce enough wool, are allegedly transported through extreme temperatures on crowded ships to have their throats slit in open-air markets while they are still conscious. 

"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," said Pink.

Australia is one of the world's leading exporters of wool and is particularly well-known for its high-quality merino wool.