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WoolProducers Australia submission to the Victorian consultation on electronic tagging

WoolProducers has identified several issues in the Victorian Government's proposal to mandate electronic tagging for sheep and goats born after January 1, 2017.  Critical infrastructure, property to property movements, stock routes, maintaining the premise of the NLIS, choice of technology, learning lessons from the cattle industry use of electronic tags, and a longer,  more meaningful consultation all need to be well considered by Minister Pulford.

To read WoolProducer's submission click here 

The Productivity Commission - regulation in agriculture

The PC has released its draft report into red tape in agriculture.  

Chapter 5: regulation of farm animal welfare was unusual because it proposed an increase in red tape and a national advicory council that couldnt guarantee better outcomes for animal welfare.  In its submission, WPA argued that a much better understanding of 'community expectation' needs to be defined and understood prior to any regulatory reform program being undertaken.  

There was also suggestion that industry money be used to create an advisory committee on animal science and ethics, ignoring the fact that current research programs, projects and services are outcome driven and taking this money away from those channels would actually decrease sheep welfare.  

The webpage for the PC enquiry can be found at

You can read WoolProducer's submission here 

Sheep Industries disappointment with inconsistent approach to national traceability

The Australian sheep and goat industries are extremely disappointed with the Victorian Government’s announcement that it will require all sheep and goats born in Victoria after 1 January 2017 to have an electronic ear tag.
Mr Richard Halliday, President of Woolproducers added “Victoria having one system while neighbouring states operate under another is neither practical nor advantageous in any regard and sends a poor message to our trading partners. While the Victorian government has indicated it will initially subsidise the cost of implementing the system, ultimately the cost of infrastructure upgrades and the cost of tags in the long term will be passed to producers.”
Media Statement can be found here

See the National Farmer's Federation 2016 Federal Election Manifesto here

'Accelerate Agriculture' by

Read more about #accelerateag here


Bernie Vince and the #FibreofFootball


Shearing Shed Poster to Champion Animal Welfare

In a joint wool industry initiative, the Shearing Contractors Association of Australia (SCAA), the WA Shearing Industry Association (WASIA), Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), and WoolProducers Australia (WPA) have developed a woolshed poster to help champion higher standards in woolsheds across Australia.  

The free A2 size poster is designed to be placed in a prominent position in all shearing sheds, to mremind wool growers and harvesters of their joint responsibilities and expectations to achieve a sae and effective work place and to treat sheep humanely at all times.

An A4 version of the poster can be found here, with a covering note here

The points outlined on the poster complement relevant state laws regarding animal welfare, workplace health and safety and the prohibition of drug use.
“It is important that shearing contractors and growers work together on practical ways that we can support sheep welfare and worker safety.  Its common sense really, and there are no surprises in the poster – it can be a good talking point for shed safety when the shed begins.  Making it clear that any type of animal abuse won’t be tolerated - the smallest number of ‘bad apples’ in the sector can bring down the reputation of the entire industry.” WASIA President Darren Spencer commented today.
WPA President Richard Halliday added, “We’ve taken the shared responsibility approach because one part of the system can’t exist without the others – shearing teams need jobs to go to, wool growers need good shearing teams, and without productive healthy livestock, none of us are in business.  We want to support a safe and healthy workplace as it has positive effects for shearers and sheep.”
SCAA President Mick Schofield said, “Communication between wool grower and shearer or shearing contractor is really important. Clarify what is expected in the shed amongst yourselves by talking about the points that are raised on the poster.  There are other legal obligations for health and safety and welfare, the poster will get you thinking about them and talking about them.”
Through their wool research, development and marketing body Australian Wool Innovation, woolgrowers invest over $2 million annually training over 3000 shearers and shedhands. Surveys have shown 79% of those trained have recorded an improved quality of work. 

The poster is available free in the March edition of AWI’s Beyond the Bale and is also available by contacting the following:


WA Shearing Industry Association:
Shearing Contractors’ Association of Australia:
WoolProducers Australia:


Are you involved with the wool industry supply chain and have an interest in protecting Australia's markets? 

An FMD outbreak would cost Australian livestock sector it's overseas markets for a period of time and billions of dollars in lost business. 
To improve preparedness for FMD and other emergency disease incursions, WoolProducers Australia are sponsoring training in Nepal to follow a live Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak to learn about the disease and bring related messages back to your networks and communities in Australia.  This is to assist with awareness and preparedness
The training involves going to Nepal and following, in real time, an outbreak of FMD, meeting local farmers, learning about symptoms and the disease, and sharing your practical on-farm knowledge from Australia, and discussing biosecurity. Growers who have previously attended the training have returned to Australia strongly recommending others who are interested to nominate. Costs for travel to and from Nepal, and food and accommodation in Nepal are covered by this sponsorship arrangement.
Dates for training and other quarantine requirements are here

Special Wool Edition of 'The Sheep Producer'

Includes articles on


Click here to see the special wool edition of the October newsletter 'The Sheep Producer'


WoolProducers Australia Independent Director Elections

WoolProducers Australia is the peak national body for the wool growing industry in Australia, advocating the interests of growers to both the Federal Government and internationally, and provides a strong, unified voice that enables woolgrowers to determine policy and drive change in their industry.

The organisation is led by a National Executive made up of woolgrowers from around Australia and who set policy on behalf of the industry. Each state farmer organisation member is represented on the Executive, while the other three members are directly elected by all wool grower members.

Democratically elected independent members gives anyone involved with wool growing in Australia the opportunity to be a part of the leadership team, along with the strength and breadth of the state farmer organisation network. This unique model sets WoolProducers Australia apart from all other grower groups and gives it the mantle as the true democratic voice of the Australian wool growing industry.

About the Position

The successful candidates will be required to become directors of WoolProducers Australia Ltd as part of the WoolProducers Australia Executive. Directors are not remunerated, however, the positions of President and Vice President do receive an allowance. Independent directors are eligible to stand for these positions.

Directors will be required to attend at least four face to face meetings of the Executive per year and regular teleconferences. Independent directors will also be invited to represent WoolProducers Australia on external committees, reference groups or advisory bodies as appropriate. Travel and accommodation expenses while undertaking WoolProducers Australia business will be reimbursed.

The positions are for a term of two years. Incumbent members are entitled to renominate.

WoolProducers Australia communicates extensively internally by email and it is an expectation that all members of the Executive will be conversant with and have regular access to email.

Eligibility Requirements 

To be eligible for election to the position of Independent Director on the Executive of WoolProducers Australia, candidates must:

Have paid the 2% wool levy at least once during the past three years (since 1 July 2012);

Be a member of a state farmer organisation that is affiliated with WoolProducers Australia or a direct member of WoolProducers Australia; and

Be eligible to act as a company director in accordance with the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).

Nominations must be received before 6.00pm on Monday, 5 October, 2015. Please contact CEO Jo Hall


WPA Statement on Winter Lambing 

WoolProducers believes that animal welfare is the highest priority for the vast majority of Australian wool growers reflecting the intrinsic relationship between healthy, well cared-for animals and productivity and profitability. Livestock are too valuable not to be treated with appropriate care and consideration.

 Australian wool growers protect the health and welfare of their sheep through a variety of animal husbandry practices that are suited to the sheep type and the environment.

 The recent extreme weather has coincided with lambing in many parts of NSW and Vic and wool growers prepare accordingly by undertaking a number of proactive measures such as planting wind-breaks, having ewes and lambs in sheltered paddocks and providing supplementary feed additional to what they graze.  During lambing time growers are out in the paddocks checking the ewes ready to lamb,  ensuring any potentially vulnerable animals are given due attention.

 Genetic research is a pillar for growth and success in all sectors of agriculture and the wool industry is no exception.  In making the assessment of whether a genetics program or any other management program is right for an enterprise, survival rates of healthy lambs that are productive will trump radical percentages that may result in loss of the ewe and the lambs.

It’s obvious that fewer healthy lambs are more important than large numbers of lambs that haven’t survived.

However, animal extremists wilfully ignore and misrepresent wool growers’ strong desire to protect their sheep from harm.

The idea that farmers have any interest in sustaining lamb losses is ridiculous.


WoolProducers Study Trip to China

Recently five WPA Directors and our CEO went to China to gain a further understanding of what this major trading partner wants from Australian growers and the wool they supply, and what the current production and manufacturing issues are in China from raw wool through to retail. The focus of the study tour was on apparel wool use.  While there are signs of growing demand for wool (including Australian wool) in interior textiles, the relatively short time in-country for the delegation restricted the scope to focusing on apparel wool.

The delegation was hosted by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and arranged through the Department of Agriculture through the Australian Chinese Agriculture Cooperative Agreement (ACACA).

Several findings and recommendations were made including on topics that range from clip preparation, environmental concerns, mulesing status, bale identification, the price of Australian wool and the value of Woolmark.

Directors: Max Watts, Steve Harrison, James Kirkpatrick, Joe Keynes, Richard Halliday. CEO: Jo Hall

The report is available here



'The Sheep Producer'

You can link to the June edition of 'The Sheep Producer', the quarterly joint publication of WoolProducers Australia and Sheepmeat Council here 

Articles include


 Subscribe by clicking the link on the right.


ParaBoss 10th Birthday - Prizes!

ParaBoss is a sheep industry success story - an excellent management tool for strategically dealing with lice, parasites and flies.  Go to to see how it can help with your on-farm pest management.  Find info on state outlooks, upcoming workshops, on-line learning, drenching, case studies and more.

Subscribe to the paraboss newsletter to win some great prizes.


Animal Protection Bill 

Debate between animal activists and the livestock sector continued recently as Senator Chris Back's private member's Bill was debated in the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee inquiry into the Criminal Code Amendment (Animal Protection) Bill 2015

Far from what some suggest the laws as being “ag-gag” laws, the Bill has two key provisions, in summary:

  • Visual evidence of malicious cruelty must be reported in timely manner in order to prevent further cruelty from occurring;
  • The protection of lawfully operating animal enterprises by not allowing them to be interfered with. 


See our full submission here



Have you seen the video from Nat Fyfe yet?


Animal Health and Welfare Research Officer wanted at WoolProducers

A challenging and interesting role in the wool industry is being offered by WPA.  For more information: click here to see the ad on seek, or alternatively, you can email us here to receive the Selection Criteria and Duty Statement.

This 6-month contract with WPA will see the selected candidate working closely with the CEO and Policy Manager - Animal Health and Welfare to research, analyse, develop and communicate policy.

The role will also be responsible for administrative and executive support to senior staff and Directors. The Research Officer - Animal Health and Welfare is responsible to the CEO and Policy Manager - Animal Health and Welfare depending on the activities.

The position is initially offered for a 6 month contract. Expectations include the ability to work from a home office to be located within Canberra, and the possibility of some interstate travel.  We are taking applications up until the 18th May.  

National Wild Dog Action Plan

For all things related to the National Wild Dog Action Plan and its progression, please go to the dedicated page:  Thanks for your support!


WoolProducers Media Statement on Misrepresentation of Wool

Peak wool industry representative body, WoolProducers Australia, has today refuted the ridiculous claims made by animal rights activists PETA regarding the Australian wool industry, in their latest campaign targeting the shearing industry.

Australian wool growers protect the health and welfare of their sheep through a variety of animal husbandry practices that are suited to the sheep type and the environment.

Sheep producers are continually investing in sheep health and welfare. Over the last five years, more than $50 million has been spent on research and development, biosecurity, health and welfare programs.

Wool growers tend to their sheep every day, using appropriate and often world leading husbandry and management practices.

However, animal extremists wilfully ignore and misrepresent wool growers’ strong desire to protect their sheep from harm. This recent campaign by PETA has seen them resorting to using a fake lamb supposedly showing the after-effects of shearing, which is clearly deceitful and misrepresentative of the usual practice of shearing.

Animal rights groups also ignore the large body of scientific evidence that confirms the major advances in animal welfare made across Australia in recent years.

Wool remains an environmentally friendly, sustainable, renewable resource that is low allergen. It is fire resistant, thermo-regulatory, and durable and of course is a naturally beautiful fibre.


New edition of 'The Sheep Producer' out now

 Disease and biosecurity can have a huge impact on any producer's bottom line, that's why we made it the key theme of this edition o