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Non-mulesed figures promising

27
Mar '08
In a positive sign that the phase out of mulesing is firmly on track, a recent survey commissioned by Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) has found an increasing number of Australian woolgrowers are embracing alternatives to mulesing well ahead of the 31 December 2010 deadline.

The survey, undertaken by the Department of Agriculture and Food in Western Australia, found that:

• 32 per cent of all lambs born in Australia in 2008 will remain non-mulesed;

• 11.5 per cent of all the Australian wool clip would be from non-mulesed sheep in 2008;

• and 14.8 per cent of producers have a breeding strategy that involves sourcing bare-breeched rams. Since 2005 the number of producers not mulesing any lambs has more than doubled. In this survey a total of 23% of producers will not mules any lambs in 2008 whereas an earlier survey conducted by the CSIRO in 2005 showed that only 11 % of producers did not mules any lambs.

Industry made the commitment to phase out mulesing by 2010 in November 2004. Estimates at that time showed that less than 10% of lambs were not mulesed. The fact that this survey shows that 32% of lambs will not be mulesed in 2008 highlights the progress being made by industry to phase out mulesing.

Don Hamblin, chair of the operations group of the Australian Wool and Sheep Industry Taskforce, said the survey was extremely encouraging and highlighted the pledge the industry made in 2004 to phase out mulesing by the end of2010.

“We care for our sheep. We have listened to the world's fashion and textile markets and are delivering on that promise,” said Mr Hamblin.

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