The Land – By Annabelle Cleeland
WOOLBROKERS believe the record high declaration of animal welfare practices in wool production has been triggered by consumer pressure and a move to value-add clips.
There was a dramatic 27 per cent increase in the number of wool bales declared using Pain Relief (PR) at mulesing which were offered in the season’s opening first quarter, compared to the same three month period last year.
National Wool Declaration (NWD) regulator, Australian Wool Exchange, reported between July and September, 88,455 PR-status bales were offered, representing 26.4pc of total declared wool.
The adoption rate of bales declared was up 12pc year-on-year to 59.5pc of First Hand Offered wool, which woolbrokers attribute to an industry-wide push for every bale to be declared.
“There has been an industry push to have more clarity around the status of the wool whether it is pain relief or from non-mulesed sheep because processors and exporters have orders that specify these requirements,” Elders southern wool sale manager Lachie Brown said.
“We’re pushing down to the grower that it is worth their while to declare and fill out the NWD so their wool has access to as much competition as possible.
“There are premiums in the vicinity of 30 cents per kilogram clean (for NM or PR status wool), but the potential for these increases depends on the right type of wool for the right order.”
In the first quarter of this season, the highest ever proportion of all the wool offered at auction had a PR, NM or Ceased Mulesing (CM) declaration at 37.6pc.
There was a nominal increase in the number of bales declared as Non-Mulesed (NM) in the first quarter of the season at 27704, up from 25794 in the same period last year.