NSW Farmers backs proposed changes to National Wool Declaration

By Rodney Woods

NSW Farmers Association has backed proposed changes to the National Wool Declaration, which includes the creation of an additional mob mulesing status.

The new status would cover wool from sheep that were not mulesed, but have been treated with an alternative method of breech modification, such as sheep freeze branding.

While the declaration is still in its draft form, Australian Wool Exchange chief executive officer Mark Grave said they were working through the range of issues and would have it finalised as soon as possible.

NSW Farmers Association wool committee chair Andrew Wood said the aim of the declaration was to promote transparency across the wool supply chain.

“This change will certainly boost transparency,” Mr Wood said.

“It will demonstrate that the wool industry is serious about investing in mulesing alternatives and give customers a clearer idea of what wool they are purchasing.

“Customers will be able to make purchasing decisions based on their desired mulesing status.

“They may want wool from a sheep genetically bred to be non-mulesed or from one that has had some form of breech modification.

“The purchasing behaviours of buyers will then shape on-farm practices as producers try to meet the markets demands.”

Mr Wood reiterated that NSW Farmers have been active in the declaration review process to date and have been pursuing the policy that the declaration be made a condition of sale for all wool sales.

“We have also requested that the ‘pain relief’ mulesing mob status be renamed analgesic/anaesthetic.”