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No time to back away from 2010, WoolProducers
Aug '08
The national body for Australia's woolgrowers, WoolProducers Australia (WPA) says that now is the time for unity and strength in the wool industry, not division or populism, in response to the decision by the Western Australian grower group Pastoralists and Graziers Association (PGA) to back away from the 2010 mulesing deadline.

“It is obviously disappointing that PGA has taken this view, but it doesn't change the pressing need to phase out mulesing or the commitment of the wider Australian wool industry to do it,” said WPA President Don Hamblin.

“I believe there is very strong leadership in the wool industry and a very strong will to see this challenge through.”

“Strong leadership is about doing the right thing for the industry in the face of opposition. Telling a section of the industry what they want to hear will not guarantee that we have a wool industry in 10 or 20 years time.”

“I am confident that we will have solutions prior to 2010 and the evidence shows that there a number of effective fly strike prevention measures either already available or close to commercialisation.”

“I have no doubt today's release of results from the recent clip trials will support this view, adding to the knowledge that the clips have all ready proved their animal welfare credentials.

“It is certainly very positive that PGA has given their endorsement to the new National Wool Deceleration (NWD), which will commence in the coming weeks. The NWD is one part of a very broad strategy in place to address the mulesing issue and meet the demands of our customers.”

However, Mr Hamblin did raise the concern of how governments might react to the PGA announcement.

“I share the concern of PGA and many growers about the risk of state legislation taking control of the agenda away from farmers. 2010 is a grower to customer commitment.”

“That is what makes this decision all the more surprising, because if the Australian wool growing industry can't rise to the challenge of phasing out mulesing in response to consumer demand, then government might decide it has to act, which we are trying to avoid.”

WoolProducers Australia Ltd

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