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Support MLA in mules with pain relief push – AWGA

by AWGA president Robert McBride, 04 December 2017
5

MEAT and Livestock managing director Richard Norton deserves congratulations for his recent public declaration supporting sheep breech surgery with analgesia.

He correctly advises us to regard our customers with great care and respect, and listen and react positively to clear market signals. Consumers have a keen desire to know as much as they can about what they eat, in this new age of vastly powerful social media, that can either make or break a strong retail brand literally overnight.

He correctly advises us all to be proud of what we do, and defend our excellent welfare practices honestly and openly face the danger of bans or draconian legislation being introduced that would deprive us of our farming rights, as recently witnessed in the European Union. In reality, who reasonably could argue with any sheep or cattle surgery accompanied with analgesia, as seen in the human world literally millions of times every day?

And this is the essence of Richard’s logic. Don’t hide and hope these issues will go away; they won’t. Be proud and be public and scientifically defend what you are doing. We have a brilliant story to tell, so let’s tell it and stand together.

And this sadly contrasts against what Australian Wool Innovation has been not doing for the past five years; an organisation that has successfully buried their heads deeply in the restaurants and coffee shops festooned around their swank offices at The Rocks in Sydney. And owing to their future careers, none of them are comfortable talking about these unpleasant surgeries.

It doesn’t matter that the European market for wool is declining and our customers there have been begging for help to face their customers complaints and enquiries for years, their response is to try and distract us with other matters of levy folly such as trying to compete with the existing wool market auction system via the ill-fated Wool Exchange Portal, which based on AWI’s past commercial performance, is destined to fail and be closeted with the plethora of white elephants produced by your long-suffering and poorly-invested levy.

Once more, we commend and thank Richard Norton for his freshness and commercial market sense. We sincerely hope he prevails.

Robert McBride, Chair, AWGA, Tolarno Station.

Reader's Comments


Comment
  • John Symons December 4, 2017

    Great article. The issue isn’t going to go away. Breech surgery is the tip of the iceberg. PETA will use every argument possible to shut down the entire industry. They want us all to be vegans and not ever own domestic pets. Let’s not ignore science which tells us that this procedure has a massive reduction in the prevalence of breech strike. I estimate our untreated sheep would make up less than 1 percent of our total flock and would account for 90pc of breech strike.

  • susan finnigan December 4, 2017

    Thank you, Richard Norton – well said, Robert McBride.

  • Glenn Phillip Nix December 5, 2017

    In 2016 my last fly-struck mulesed sheep was on November 1 at shearing, as I ran out of chemicals for protection. The last unmulesed lambs began getting struck in March and this went on till June 25 or 26. The amount of work in looking after the unmulesed sheep in my climate is out of all proportion to their number. I have used Tri-Solfen from the start; it makes me money, as does mulesing.

  • Edward Wymer December 5, 2017

    What a storm in a tea cup. No-one ever goes into a butcher shop asking about mulesing, same in clothing stores. It is the furthest thing from a consumer’s mind.

  • Andrew December 7, 2017

    Unmulesed since 2010. No chemicals, no extra crutching. Seeing more breech strike in our very old mulesed ewes (bought 5+ years ago) than our unmulesed ewes. Full names required in future for reader comments please Andrew, as per Sheep Central’s long-standing comments policy: https://www.sheepcentral.com/about-us/sheep-central-comment-policy/ Editor.

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