Several new publications have been created by Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) to help keep woolgrowers informed of the progress in AWI’s Breech Strike Research Development and Extension Program.
Flystrike remains one of AWI’s top research priorities with more than $35 million invested in flystrike initiatives since 2005 and more than $60 million invested in animal welfare programs over this same time.
The latest publications include Planning for a non-mulesed Merino enterprise, created after interviews with 40 Merino woolgrowers from across Australia who have moved to a non-mulesing business.
The 15-page publication outlines the many detailed and thorough decisions required when considering the move to a non-mulesed woolgrowing operation.
Planning, sheep type, management changes and financial considerations are all discussed by those who have chosen to take this path.
Ninety direct quotes from the woolgrower interviews highlight the diverse experiences and pathways these woolgrowers have taken in their move to a non-mulesed Merino enterprise. They include:
“The hardest thing was being brave enough to start”
“I needed to simplify my other enterprises to make the non-mulesed Merino enterprise work”
“Handlers are good but more strategically placed holding yards have also helped”
“Worm capsules were the break-through to get lower dags”
The publication is a tool for all woolgrowers to gain insight into the option of transitioning to a non-mulesed enterprise and the considerations that need to be taken in the planning stage.
The experience of each interviewee varied greatly and their strategy had to be adaptive for their specific environment and sheep type.
This publication aligns with AWI’s continued effort to provide woolgrowers with accessible industry information on management practices for the welfare of their sheep.
Geoff Lindon, AWI’s Manager of Genetics and Animal Welfare Advocacy said, “the focus of the document is for woolgrowers to be talking to woolgrowers. The quotes express the process and the issues these woolgrowers have encountered in moving to a non-mulesed enterprise.”
You can hear Geoff Lindon explain the publication in more detail here.