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AWI reaffirms R&D policy to meet commitment of retailers
Mar '08
Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) has reaffirmed its policy of conducting the necessary research and development to enable the broader wool industry to meet its commitment with wool apparel international retailers.

That commitment agreed by the Australian Sheep and Wool Industry Taskforce on 8 November 2004 was to phase out “the current practice of mulesing” by 2010.

The current practice of mulesing involves surgically removing the skin around the breech (backside) to prevent wool growth which reduces the risk of flystrike caused by a unique and very aggressive blowfly (Lucilia cuprina).

To that end, AWI, other commercial firms and breeders are actively identifying and investigating a range of methods which will offer wool producers an alternative to conventional mulesing.

AWI's Chairman Mr McLachlan said “The Board made a decision in December 2007 to confirm the company's support of the industry's commitment and used the word “target” instead of “commitment”.

AWI identified that there may have been confusion and the Board released a further clarifying statement on 8 January 2008 that exactly supported the industry commitment to the phasing out of the current practice of mulesing by 2010”.

“PETA must have missed this further clarifying statement or has chosen to ignore it.”

Mr McLachlan said that Mr Prescott from PETA appears to be now trying to get rid of clips from the research program three years before they could have to be used in whatever form they would be by then.

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