WOOL brokers have sought a further extension of the Australian Wool Exchange’s National Wool Declaration review to allow consideration of the final peer-reviewed results from recent sheep freeze branding research.
AWEX has already extended the review’s submission deadline from 24 March to 6 April, following feedback about the timing of the review and the wider release of the research’s preliminary results by Sheep Central last week.
However, National Council of Wool Brokers of Australia president Rowan Woods confirmed the council on Wednesday sought another extension until the final research report was in.
“We’ve only seen the preliminary research results and we want to reserve making our submission until we’ve considered the final preliminary results.
“For the sake of six weeks or whatever it is, we don’t think it would matter,” he said.
“We felt that we would be going off early and half-cocked if we didn’t have the final report.
“We think that it is a significant enough issue that we shouldn’t be rushing any sort of a review just for the sake of meeting a date,” Mr Woods said.
“What’s a couple of months going to matter?”
Mr Woods said the NCWSBA has been advised that the peer-reviewed preliminary research results would be available in late May.
“So we are saying the board, on behalf of national council members, who represent over 80 percent of wool sold at auction, urges AWEX to extend the deadline for submissions to the 2021 National Wool Declaration review until after the final peer-reviewed report on the research is available.”
Sheep Central last week published Dr Ellen Jongman’s preliminary findings on the sheep freeze branding field trial, including a preliminary results table, after learning the data and Dr Jongman’s conclusions had been on the National Primary Industries Animal Welfare RD&E Strategy website since December last year.
One of Dr Jongman’s conclusions was that freeze branding (with meloxicam pain relief) appears to be more painful than tail docking and castration alone, and similar to mulesing (with meloxicam), on the day of application.
Dr Jongman and sheep freeze branding developer John Steinfort have said that the research results have not been finalised, but Dr Steinfort said Dr Jongman had told him “the final preliminary results” will be provided to him before Easter.
Neither Dr Jongman, sheep freeze branding developer John Steinfort nor AWEX CEO Mark Grave have been able to guarantee that the final research results and report would be available to all wool industry stakeholders before the 6 April deadline.
When asked if AWEX had decided to push back the review’s submission deadline, Mr Grave said all submissions will be considered after the closing date of close of business 6 April.
“The board will consider submissions after that date, this is in line with previous reviews.”