In a joint wool industry initiative, the Shearing Contractors Association of Australia , the WA Shearing Industry Association, Australian Wool Innovation, and WoolProducers Australia have developed a woolshed poster to help champion higher standards in woolsheds across Australia.
The free A2 size poster is designed to be placed in a prominent position in all shearing sheds, to mremind wool growers and harvesters of their joint responsibilities and expectations to achieve a sae and effective work place and to treat sheep humanely at all times.
The points outlined on the poster complement relevant state laws regarding animal welfare, workplace health and safety and the prohibition of drug use.
“It is important that shearing contractors and growers work together on practical ways that we can support sheep welfare and worker safety. Its common sense really, and there are no surprises in the poster – it can be a good talking point for shed safety when the shed begins. Making it clear that any type of animal abuse won’t be tolerated – the smallest number of ‘bad apples’ in the sector can bring down the reputation of the entire industry.” WASIA President Darren Spencer commented today.
WPA President Richard Halliday added, “We’ve taken the shared responsibility approach because one part of the system can’t exist without the others – shearing teams need jobs to go to, wool growers need good shearing teams, and without productive healthy livestock, none of us are in business. We want to support a safe and healthy workplace as it has positive effects for shearers and sheep.”
SCAA President Mick Schofield said, “Communication between wool grower and shearer or shearing contractor is really important. Clarify what is expected in the shed amongst yourselves by talking about the points that are raised on the poster. There are other legal obligations for health and safety and welfare, the poster will get you thinking about them and talking about them.”
Through their wool research, development and marketing body Australian Wool Innovation, woolgrowers invest over $2 million annually training over 3000 shearers and shedhands. Surveys have shown 79% of those trained have recorded an improved quality of work.