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Wool growers reaffirm commitment to produce ethical wool
23
May '08
The AWI Board has sent an open letter to international retailers and wool industry stakeholders.

This AWI communiqué again confirms that there is full support for Australian woolgrowers in their challenge to produce an ethical natural fibre that meets the commitments made to international retailers.

AWI Chairman, Brian van Rooyen says retailers are comfortable with the industry's progress.

“There will be alternatives to mulesing ready for adoption prior to 2010 and they provide very significant animal welfare benefits. Progress is being made on other alternatives such as breeding and selection. Already 23% of Australian wool producing properties do not intend to mules in 2008. In the interim, pain relief is being widely used and promoted.

“International retailers urge us to continue our work.

“They well-appreciate that woolgrowers are mindful of adapting their production systems and that a non-mulesed wool market will be operating through the Australian auction system from July 2008 with support from AWEX.

“The retailers also know that 32% of lambs born this year will not be mulesed.”

Mr van Rooyen also stated that a letter from the animal rights activist group PETA has been received, and a reply has been sent.

“We've informed PETA that the resolve of AWI is clear and the industry's commitment is rock-solid. We will continue our work and deliver to the timeframes agreed with our customers.

“We believe that we are meeting all of our commitments and we will continue to do so.”

All AWI Directors have pledged that AWI will continue to vigorously research alternatives to surgical mulesing in support of the industry's commitment to the phasing out of surgical mulesing by 31 December 2010, and fully endorse the use of pain relief in the interim.

Australian Wool Innovation Limited

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