No mulesing and sheep milk superfoods predicted in 20 years

Zach RelphCountryman
Icon Agriculture consultant Andrew Ritchie has made bold predictions for sheep enterprises.
Camera IconIcon Agriculture consultant Andrew Ritchie has made bold predictions for sheep enterprises. Credit: Countryman

No mulesing, a licence to run live-stock and a sheep milk-based superfood fuelling athletes.

Those are among the changes Icon Agriculture consultant Andrew Ritchie has predicted for Australian sheep enterprises in the next 20 years.

Mr Ritchie was tasked with forecasting what farming transformations will take place by 2040 at the Australian Association of Agricultural Consultants WA Outlook on October 31.

The bold prediction included mulesing to be banned, or phased out, by 2026 with a vaccination against fly-strike to hit the market.

“My first prediction is that mulesing is going to be gone within the 20-year timeframe,” Mr Ritchie said. “It will be either banned or, more likely it will be redundant.

“Already, there are Australian Sheep Breeding Values and genetic techniques to select animals with less wrinkle, which is 90 per cent of fly-strike.

“There is already a vaccine on the drawing board, so some day we will be able to vaccinate making mulesing redundant.”

Mr Ritchie, of Darkan, flagged a law requiring farmers managing livestock to hold a licence, which is “so valuable it becomes tradeable, like abalone licences”.

“You will need a licence to manage livestock,” he said.

“Your social licence will be accompanied by annual inspections, there will be a quality assurance by smartphone.

“All animals will be under electronic identification and GPS allowing 24/7 location, so you’ll be independently audited.”

In two decades, sales of sheep milk will skyrocket, according to Mr Ritchie.

The farming consultant predicted sheep milk to become a sought-after product on the sports formula market.

“The new superfood sheep milk will start to dominate,” Mr Ritchie said.

“Sales of sheep milk into the into the huge sports formula market will make Darkan a household name.

“You might laugh, but it is already happening.”

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