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Growers get incentive for offering non-mulesed wool
Jul '08
Wool growers in Australia were disappointed over not being able to procure a premium for non-mulesed wool which gave an impression that the extra efforts taken for obtaining this fleece was actually worthless.

Even though the AWEX auction system announced selling of wool by using two new categories, mulesed and unmulesed, growers saw the market unchanged as buyers expressed an indifference to the differentiation between the two varieties.

Growers hoped that unmulesed wool could procure at least a 10 to 20c per kilogram premium to cover the cost of the extra management that goes into producing the fibre on farm, but all in vain.

However, it will be for the first time that a wool buyer is offering financial incentive for avoiding the practice of mulesing. Even now, the Australian wool industry has set a target of 2010 to completely eliminate mulesing of sheep where skin is cut off the breech of the lambs to prevent fly strike.

New England Wool has proposed to pay US $100 rebate per bale for superfine wool from unmulesed sheep which will be consumed by Italian shareholders, Reda and Barberis.

According to company estimates, the rebate amounts to $2 per sheep to cover extra crutching and chemical costs. This would be a motivational step to ensure that every wool grower finds a different way to stop mulesing.

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