Mandatory pain relief rules for sheep mulesing start on July 1

By Rodney Woods

The VFF is reminding all sheep farmers that mandatory pain relief regulations for sheep mulesing comes into effect from July 1.

VFF Livestock Group president Leonard Vallance said the VFF had been advocating strongly for the regulations to be introduced to deliver the best possible animal welfare outcomes and cost benefits for farmers.

“The VFF has been pushing for mandatory pain relief when mulesing and sees it as a positive step towards strengthening Victoria's best-practice animal welfare regulations,” he said.

“Mulesing with pain relief continues to be an acceptable method of mitigating the effects of fly strike whilst the industry funds research into alternate tools that can be used to achieve a similar result.”

The impending regulations will mean a pain relief product registered for use by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority must be administered to sheep from next month.

“Over ninety per cent of Victorian sheep farmers are already using pain relief when mulesing, but these new regulations mean it will be mandatory for all farmers from next month,” Mr Vallance said.

Victorian farmers have the opportunity to register for a free online webinar, hosted by Dr John Webb-Ware from the University of Melbourne, that will cover what farmers are required to do to comply with the new regulations.

The webinar will be held on Thursday, June 25 from 8 pm to 9 pm.

Farmers can register for the webinar at: and access further information on sheep mulesing at: