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Accusations against us on mulesing untrue - WAFarmers
Jul '08
During the Australian Sheep and Wool Industry Taskforce Stakeholder Forum held in 2004, enterprises engaged in wool production had agreed to phase out mulesing by 2010. However, recent reports have shown that more and more groups are drawing back from their commitments to stop mulesing including Western Australian Farmers Federation (WAFarmers) which is now disagreeing to the set deadline.

Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and other wool producers strongly believe that if companies step back from its commitment now, retailers would instantly reject wool from mulesed sheep bringing the industry to its knees.

However, in an exclusive interview with Fibre2fashion, Chris Marris, Marketing and Communications Manager of WAFarmers denied the allegations and clarified the company's stance on the proposed 2010 mulesing phase-out deadline. He stated, “WAFarmers President, Mike Norton, was present at this meeting, where the decision was made to implement a national accreditation program and make significant investment in research and development (R&D).

The intention was to try to have economical alternatives available by the conclusion of 2010. It was not in the least implied, at any stage, that mulesing should not be banned. A communications plan was put into place during the meeting to ensure accurate and timely communication of the decisions made.

Mr Chris reiterated that WAFarmers continues to support national accreditation for mulesing, R&D into alternatives to mulesing, the phase-out of mulesing with economical alternatives, pain relief and best practices in mulesing. He further added that although AWI has made progress in a number of areas, it appears that no economical alternatives to fully replace the practice have been finalised at this stage.

WAFarmers is still very supportive of the R&D initiatives and appreciate that there is still 30 months until the end of 2010. They are also appreciative and supportive of individual producers supporting this research and investigating practices suitable for their own farming operations.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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