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Flystrike progress being made but NWD way forward
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Apr '10
Woolgrowers, brokers, buyers, retailers, veterinarians and welfare groups all agree that progress is being made to find alternatives to mulesing and the National Wool Declaration (NWD) plays a crucial role in the industry's future.

Providing transparency for the market, the NWD allows woolgrowers to declare practices, and the world's wool buyers to recognise them.

As the marketing, research and development body of the Australian wool industry, Australian Wool Innovation has hosted the National Retail Federation through talks with over 17 industry organisations. Acting AWI CEO Stuart McCullough said the visit by Erik Autor of the National Retail Federation had been productive in providing first-hand experience of the large effort being made by the Australian wool industry to meet the demands of its customers whilst continuing best practice animal welfare.

“Mr Autor visited farms, researchers, government officials and woolbrokers and gained a greater understanding of how the wool industry is making progress in this area. We will continue to keep retailers and brands informed of our progress and strengthen relationships,” Mr McCullough said.

Mr Autor said he was “now convinced the industry is committed to finding a solution to mulesing. This is a message I'll be taking home. However full grower participation in the NWD will allow retailers and brands the supply chain visibility they need,” he added.

AWI continues to support the use of the NWD together with the Australian Wool Exchange. The declaration last week was boosted by the announcement of federal government assistance for its further implementation.

RSPCA Australia agreed that wider use of the NWD would not only identify progress in the uptake of mulesing alternatives but provide evidence that growers are committed to changing their practices.

Animal welfare groups and retailers alike continue to be updated on best practice animal welfare including analgesia as well as the development of alternatives for flystrike control such as genetic breeding values for breech wrinkle, dag and breech cover, Skintraction intradermal field trials and the use of clips.

Australian Wool Innovation Limited

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