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AWI Mr McLachlan welcomes support of Aussie wool & sheep industry taskforce

26
Mar '08
The Chairman of Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) Ian McLachlan welcomed the support of the Australian Wool and Sheep Industry Taskforce in reaffirming their commitment to the phasing out of the current practice of mulesing by 2010.

The Australian Wool and Sheep Industry Taskforce acknowledged, in a letter to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, the research and development that AWI is undertaking to find an alternative to surgical mulesing.

Mr McLachlan also acknowledged the support that the Federal Minister for Agriculture, Tony Burke, and the Australian Government have provided to the Australian wool industry, especially during the recent deliberations in Sweden about mulesing that followed animal activist-driven media campaigning.

Mr McLachlan said that the AWI Board unanimously supported the industry commitment and this was made to reassure the industry's international markets and clients following concerns expressed by international retailers and consumers about mulesing.

“The industry instructed AWI, the industry's research, development and marketing company, to increase its efforts in a number of research and development programs to support their decision,” said Mr McLachlan.

“AWI is currently undertaking research and development on a number of alternatives to the current practice of mulesing.”

The focus of the research and development is in three main areas:

• Clips – AWI is currently immersed in the data entry and analysis process of the almost one million items of data generated by extensive 2007 clip trials. As would be expected from 200 sites across Australia, the results are variable. Early indications are that the clips are working towards producing an outcome similar to conventional mulesing. A full analysis of the trials will be available by June 2008.


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