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AWGA requested to cooperate on muelsing issues
26
Jun '08
The motivations and interests of the so-called 'influential woolgrower lobby group' – AWGA in continually seeking to divide the industry and load the animal activist with more ammunition need to be answered.

Chairman Brian van Rooyen said it is “incredibly disappointing” that this small group sends out flawed information to the media and in doing so gives more ammunition to the animal rights activists in their campaign to turn retailers around the world against the Australian wool industry.

“AWI makes every effort to enable AWGA to participate in important, inclusive and constructive industry endeavours – for instance, AWGA was invited to and participated in the Industry's Strategic Planning Forum held in May.

“How far does this industry have to stretch itself to accommodate the increasingly partisan and divisive views, and questionable interests of AWGA?

AWGA has been instrumental in seeking a reneging of the wool industry's commitment to phase out mulesing by 2010. This is what kick started the renewed wave of activist approaches to our international retailers. Now AWGA seeks to undermine clips as being a viable alternative, instead seeking to hold the industry to ransom, to force woolgrowers to use commercial pain relief.

For the record, AWI has actively supported the use of pain relief by woolgrowers and the least it asks of AWGA is to support AWI, the woolgrowers' not for profit, research company in finding alternatives.

Mr van Rooyen called on AWGA to inform woolgrowers and the huge downstream wool industry supply chain, the retailers and brands, the industry's key customers, about its motives in continually finding fault with key, agreed industry initiatives that will enable the industry to continue meeting customer requirements well in to the future.

“I have four, quite easy, questions for AWGA:
• Where does AWGA's real interest lie in promoting a commercial pain-relief product over every other alternative to mulesing that is being developed to help woolgrowers?
• What does AWGA hope to gain from undermining the clips?
• Why is AWGA attempting to leave woolgrowers without options to meet the wool industry commitment to phase out mulesing by the end of 2010?
• Why is it that AWGA's objective does not meet the longer term needs of the industry's customers, the international retailers?

“AWI categorically rejects AWGA's rhetorical musings that 'a change of mulesing definition' is linked to clip research and development. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“I understand that the National Wool Declaration is evolving to meet the needs of the wool industry.

“In reality, this is just another example of AWGA's campaign against AWI and its efforts to meet wool industry customer expectations on behalf of the Australian wool industry.”

Australian Wool Innovation Limited

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