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Intradermal research hones in on new compound
03
Mar '08
Research on the intradermal needleless injection alternative to mulesing has taken another important step with further positive results from trials of the intradermal compound.

Known as Skintraction the product has been developed by Cobbett Technologies Pty Ltd, a private Sydney-based research and development company.

Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) is researching and monitoring potential alternatives to mulesing, in line with the industry's commitment to the phasing out of the current practice of mulesing by 2010.

Efforts so far have focused on breeding for plain and bare-breeched sheep, clips and an intradermal needleless injection.

Ian Evans, AWI Project Manager Blowfly Control, said a number of intradermal options have been investigated, with two proving to be unsatisfactory. Research into intradermals has looked at enzymes (collagenase) and cationic compounds (cetrimide).

“Both these compounds were found not to yield effective results in terms of flystrike control while also posing animal welfare concerns,” he said, adding that work on these compounds has now ceased.

"Cobbett Technology's research has shown that one of the anionic surfactants works effectively in causing stretching of bare skin in the breech area.

“They have already been registered for use in agriculture and medicine for other uses, such as the treatment of foot rot in sheep and varicose veins in humans.”

Further trials are now required prior to registration to confirm the initial findings as well as to finalise the dose and application patterns. Meanwhile, researchers have been encouraged by welfare and histological studies so far conducted.

"Trials are continuing to be conducted by Cobbett Technologies Pty Ltd, with the aim of registration as soon as possible," Mr Evans concluded.

Australian Wool Innovation Limited

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