Mulesing hot topic at Wool In­no­va­tion de­brief

The Northern Star - Northern New South Wales Rural Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - Ni­cola Bell [email protected]­ral­weekly.com

THE wool in­dus­try has been warned it could be brought to “its knees” by mulesing.

Prominent NSW wool grower, Nigel Kerin, from Yeo­val in Cen­tral West NSW, told the packed Aus­tralian Wool In­no­va­tion an­nual gen­eral meet­ing last week “the ele­phant in the room is still mulesing”.

How­ever, AWI said it wasn’t its place to tell grow­ers how to look af­ter their sheep.

“I look at what will come from left field that will take pros­per­ity we are now en­joy­ing away from us,” Mr Kerin said.

“I read a statement from Henry Ford where he said if he had’ve asked the peo­ple what they wanted, they would have said faster horses. And I see that as a great ex­am­ple of what we need to do in re­gards to mulesing.”

“We can’t lis­ten to the rea­sons why we can’t stop.

“The rea­son I say this is it will be so­cial me­dia or one hour on a tele­vi­sion show that will bring this in­dus­try to its knees overnight.

“It hap­pened in the live cat­tle ex­port (in­dus­try) … it de­stroyed fam­i­lies and that is my fear for the fu­ture of this in­dus­try.”

But AWI chair Co­lette Garnsey said while they were do­ing a lot of work in re­la­tion to fly­strike, pain re­lief and ge­net­ics “we as a board be­lieve in the grow­ers’ rights and the grow­ers’ choice to man­age their flock the way

❝one It will be... hour on a tele­vi­sion show that will bring this in­dus­try to its knees overnight. — Nigel Kerin

they choose and the way they see best”.

“This is a grower-owned com­pany and that’s what our grow­ers have told us they want,” Ms Garnsey said.

The VFF’s Leonard Val­lance said “mulesing is a ne­c­es­sary evil” and that the prob­lem needed to be dealt with. Mr Val­lance said some “de­cent money” needed to be spent on fly­strike pre­ven­tion. AWI chief ex­ec­u­tive Stu­art McCul­lough said he un­der­stood Mr Kerin was “ap­proach­ing it from worry”.

“We know the pres­sures on an­i­mal wel­fare are go­ing to be­come more pro­found in the fu­ture … but we do de­fend the right of wool grow­ers to care for their an­i­mals the way they choose, and the way they choose is to keep them alive,” Mr McCul­lough said.

Mr McCul­lough said AWI’s role was not to tell any­one what to do, but “to un­der­take re­search and de­vel­op­ment projects”.

“The board is res­o­lute in their view of bud­get­ing for this (mulesing), and it’s cer­tainly some­thing which won’t get any sac­ri­fice in terms of spend.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

SPEAK­ING OUT: NSW wool grower Nigel Kerin said the ele­phant in the room was still mulesing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.