Breeders say no to new welfare laws

SuppliedThe West Australian

Stud Merino breeders say they oppose the acquisition into law of the proposed Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Sheep.

Australian Association of Stud Merino Breeders vice-president Jock MacRae said such legislation would be a pathway to litigation and create bureaucracy. "It would have no practical benefit for the animals and in fact could inhibit progress on improved animal welfare outcomes," he said.

Animal Welfare Standards & Guidelines |

Animal Health Australia's proposed welfare standards include new standards, including mulesing, tail docking and wool harvesting. The AASMB is requesting every sheep producer get up to speed with what is proposed.

In the public consultation document, an entry on mulesing states a person must not mules sheep that are six to 12 months old without using pain relief.

Under tail docking and castration, it notes lambs should be tail- docked and castrated before 12 weeks old.

In the wool harvesting section, sheep that grow and retain long wool should be shorn annually.

"Growers should understand that once these standards are enshrined in legislation there will be no turning back," Mr MacRae said.

He said the AASMB would forward its submission before today's closing date.

"We will be saying no and encourage others to do the same," he said.

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