There has been a lot going on in the wool industry and we want to reassure people we remain fully engaged with animal health and welfare.  Without healthy, happy sheep we have no livelihood and we are confident Australian wool growers have the utmost commitment to their animals.  

Volunteers and staff work hard on projects that set Australia well above average in animal health and welfare.  Via our website and twitter, we'll keep you updated on the efforts of the wool industry.  

Recently our new President, Richard Halliday has renewed the importance of a united effort in the wool industry across all issues.  

There are challenges but we are working hard to make sure Australian wool growers can maintain their pride in their industry as animal health and welfare continues to improve. 

'The Sheep Producer' Newsletter Launched

In a joint initiative with the Sheepmeat Council of Australia, we have launched our sheep industry newsletter, 'The Sheep Producer'. 

Click here to see it.  

After this first special edition, we plan to have a newsletter out to you quartlery with the latest in news, issues, events and people that influence policy setting and advocacy in the national sheep industry. 

We'd love your input on what we should include.  Also, if you have some great, high resolution photos of your stock, working dogs or property, send them through along with who took it and where and we could publish it in the newsletter, with full photo credits of course! Email us here

This months photo came from Barb Woolford and it was taken at Buckleboo, SA.


Love Lamb Chops on Australia Day? So do we!



NVD Requirements for 2015

Tell-tale signs for Ovine Brucellosis, is your flock at risk?

The tell-tale signs you might notice in a flock that becomes infected with brucellosis include:

Check out this article by the Livestock Biosecurity Network to learn more


Biosecurity is like Insurance for Future Profitability

 A few precautions can help secure your property and livelihood against biosecurity threats and protect our markets, and your profitability.


National Wild Dog Action Plan Update


As another step towards consolidating national coordination and collaboration: over 30 delegates recently met in Canberra to establish the National Wild Dog Action Plan Stakeholder Consultative Group (SCG). The SCG membership includes broad representative coverage across peak industry councils, state farming organisations, state/territory agriculture/environmental jurisdictions, RD&E organisations as well as national animal welfare entities and a number of industry champions/stewards.

SCG members identified potential Commonwealth Research & Development for Profit Program projects. These have been submitted to Australian wool Innovation and Meat & Livestock Australia for consideration in this current funding round (December 2014). A longer term SCG Research and Development Working Group was also established tasked with identifying and prioritising logic‐based RD&E requirements in the longer‐term.
The first item of business saw Dr Bill Sykes (Victoria) elected as the Group Chair and Geoff Power (South Australia) Deputy Chair.  As part of the proceedings a motion was passed to decommission the National Wild Dog Management Advisory Group (NWDMAG) while acknowledging the group’s vital achievements over the past five years in wild dog management across mainland Australia.  Michael Mc Cormack, NWDMAG’s outgoing Chair expressed “sincere thanks to all members for the commitment of their time, effort and open mindedness.” Mr Geoff Power went on to convey “special thanks for the five years of work to Greg Mifsud, National Wild Dog Facilitator and Queensland Grazier, Peter Lucas. Both are key advocates for full wild dog management participation across the landscape.”
SCG members identified potential Commonwealth Research & Development for Profit Program projects.  These have been submitted to Australian wool Innovation and Meat & Livestock Australia for consideration in this current funding round (December 2014). A longer term SCG Research and Development Working Group was also established tasked with identifying and prioritising logic‐based RD&E requirements in the longer‐term.  
Four other SCG Working Groups have been formed and will progress identified and future actions in conjunction with the implementation manager.
Achievements and progressions so far ......
  • The governance structure is established providing the national coordination framework.
  • National consistency across training programs is in progress. Pilot dogger (pest control officers) skill set will roll out in early 2015 through a state/territory jurisdiction co‐investment funding model.
  • Extension resources are being updated to convey current best practice models.
  • Value–add outcomes are in‐train with:
    • the roll‐out of a Communication and Engagement Strategy action plan
    • a jurisdiction/industry co‐investment approach to development of mutually agreed nationally consistent wild dog management metrics

The project administrator is the Invasive Animal CRC:  or

The Chair of the Implementation Steering Committee is Duncan Fraser:

Project Manager is Michele Jackson: 

New President for WoolProducers

Richard Halliday from South Australia has been elected President of WoolProducers Australia following the Melbourne AGM.  Richard will work at the national policy level promoting issues affecting Australian woolgrowers.

Mr Halliday has served as Chair of Livestock SA and was a national finalist in the 2013 Biosecurity Farmer of the Year.  Mr Halliday and his family have a Poll Merino stud near Bordertown SA

Mr Halliday thanked Geoff Fisken, immediate past President of WoolProducers, for his dedicated service.

Mr Halliday said, “We want to renew the push for increased unity in the wool industry, as there are several bodies who all have good intentions for their memberships but we know that unified efforts will be best for grower’s interests.”

As a member of AHA, WoolProducers is responsible for the oversight of the health and welfare levy spend and it is a priority to ensure that growers inform this.

“This meeting in Melbourne we invited representatives from Stud Merino Breeders Association of Australia and Superfine Wool growers, and they made a valuable contribution to the meeting – we look forward to continuing this formal affiliation and seeking their opinions to help us make the best decisions we can on behalf of industry.”

“We are aware there are a significant number of growers who are not involved in policy making decisions but these policies impact them, so we will continue our grower consultations in all wool growing states.”

Mr Ed Storey from Yass was elected to the position of Senior Vice President and Jim McKenzie maintained the position of Vice President and Treasurer.

 photo credit: Tom Dawkins

Wild Dog Action Plan Investment Mapping

The National Wild Dog Action Plan (The Plan) is one mechanism that can assist with providing a better coordinated, resourced and focused national and cross‐industry response to the escalating problem of wild dog predation. As outlined in Communique 8, investment is now focusing on the Plan’s enabling actions so that the much touted: ‘national collaboration and consistency’ can see the light of day.

The National Wild Dog Management Project Team is tasked with mapping current activities and programs against the Actions of the Plan to determine short‐term and longer term priorities in implementation.

To map the current investment in wild dog management across Australia we need your input.  

 Please follow this link to do a quick 5 minute survey:

If you know of others who are invovled with the management of wild dogs, share this link to the survey with them also.  Survey closes Friday 14th November.

Thanks for your input!

In other wild dog news .....

The Plan’s governance structure is nearly complete with the newly formed Stakeholder Consultative Group(SCG) due to meet in Canberra in mid‐November. The SCG membership includes broad representative coverage across peak industry councils, state farming organisations, state/territory agriculture/environmental jurisdictions, RD&E organisations as well as national animal welfare entities and a number of industry champions/stewards.
The SCG will provide a mechanism where relevant stakeholders have a voice in the implementation strategies developed to deliver the Plan with the opportunity to participate in that delivery process. The SCG allows the various primary and secondary stakeholders to be engaged in setting directions and priorities as the Plan rolls out.
It all comes down to sharing problems, sharing solutions and this is what the Action Plan aims to deliver... doing things smarter!

Industry seeks greater detail from Ag Ministers about NLIS

22 October 2014

The bodies representing the national sheep and goat supply-chain are seeking further clarification on the future of the National Livestock Identification Scheme (NLIS) following today’s announcement by Minister Joyce.

The sheep and goat industry supply-chain continues its strong and united support for the current mob-based system, which was demonstrated during the public consultation where fewer than 5% of submissions supported mandatory electronic identification (EID).
The current system is cost-effective, well-accepted by industry and has demonstrated it can meet national traceability performance standards.
The current system is a national approach committed to by all jurisdictions however Minister Joyce’s statement seems to indicate that individual states can either enhance the current mob-based system or implement mandatory electronic identification, which clearly is not a national approach.
Minister Joyce’s statement was released on the back of yesterday’s AgMin Forum consideration of the Decision Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) on mandatory implementation of EID on the sheep and goat industries.
The sheep and goat industries are extremely disappointed that they were not included in further consultation or provided a copy of the Decision RIS before this decision was made.
The representative bodies will continue to seek greater clarity on this issue.

New Round of Funding for Wild Dog Management

Australian Wool Innovation have announced a new round of funding for on-the-ground wild dog control.

If you have a wild dog management plan in your community and would like to apply for funding, click here for information.  

Control of wild dogs is best approached through a nil-tenure approach where all land holders, public and private do their bit to control dogs.

If you need assistance or have any questions, please contact Taran Blyth at AWI on (02) 8295 3164


Wool: from Farm to Fashion


Notice of WoolProducers 2014 AGM

25 November, 2014 at 830am in Melbourne, Vic.

please click here for the agenda and detail 


International Guidelines in Wool Sheep Welfare

The International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) is a not-for-profit representing the interests of wool industry stakeholders on an international level.  The IWTO has been the recognised global authority for standards in the wool industry since 1930.  WoolProducers Australia is a member of the IWTO has contributed to forums and publications produced by the IWTO.  An example of this is the "The IWTO Guidelines for Wool Sheep Welfare", a document that highlights good practice for ethical wool production.

The document is a succinct series of guidelines that are based around the 'Five Freedoms', an internationally recognised ethical code for the treatment of animals. 

Further to this, Australia's States and Territories have local rules and regulations to support animal welfare and prevent animal cruelty.  Industry also invests millions every year to provide producers with tools for excellent animal husbandry practice. 

Pain Relief in Sheep Husbandry

The health and welfare of sheep is the number one priority for woolgrowers as healthy and productive sheep are intrinsically linked to a sustainable and profitable wool growing business.

The Australian industry, through its Research and Development Corporation, Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) continues to invest in pain relief strategies for use by growers to address this issue.  Through this investment there is ongoing research and development involving pain relief in husbandry practices.

Separate surveys of wool growers conducted by AWI and the Sheep CRC has found that the uptake of pain relief for mulesing is around 70% and growing.

The recent rescheduling of Tri-Solfen from an S4 (veterinary only) to an S5 (available over the counter) product has seen an increase in use.  WooProducers Australia (WPA) believes the natural uptake of growers using pain relief is encouraging, which is why we continue to support the voluntary use of pain relief.

The use of pain relief is an issue that has long been considered by WPA.  Our current policy is that we support the use of pain relief for mulesing.

Currently there is only one commercially available pain relief product for on-farm animal husbandry practices, which is only registered for mulesing (Tri-Solfen).  If, and when, other pain relief products become commercially available for on-farm animal husbandry practices, WPA will reconsider its pain relief policy.

WPA is aware of the application made to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) for the extension of Tri-Solfen for use in shearing cuts and supports this approval to be considered by the APVMA.

WPA does not support 'off label' use of any chemical product as it can have serious consequences for animal welfare.  If a product has not been tested and approved by the correct authority, in this case the APVMA, export slaughter intervals (ESIs) and maximum residue limits (MRLs) may be exceeded which can result in market access being denied.  We encourage growers to use all chemicals responsibly, avoid all 'off the label' use and consult your vet for assistance if any questions arise.

WPA supports ongoing scientific research and development in all areas that will result in positive outcomes for growers and the health and welfare of their flocks. 

photo credit: Judith Deener, Ungurra, SA

See the WoolProducers Australia

Annual Review for 2014


The Annual Review highlights the great work of the wool industry in Australia.  Wool industry partners and independents are invited to contribute to the Review which is a fantastic showcase of the efforts, projects and people in our great industry.  The Review includes reports from the Sheep CRC, Animal Health Australia, the Livestock Biosecurity Network, AWI, AWTA, Stud Merino Breeders, Agrifood Skills of Australia and many others... Click here for the pdf.

Animal Health and Welfare a Top Priority for the Wool Industry

The Australian wool industry takes concerns about sheep health and welfare seriously. One example of this are the actions of Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and their efforts to prevent flystrike in sheep.  AWI held an industry forum on the 20th August to provide an update on the research and development programs into flystrike prevention.  Since 2005, AWI has invested $27 million on behalf of growers to find better ways to prevent flystrike.  Click here to see the slides from the presentations made at the forum. 


Did you know an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease would cost Australia around $52 billion over 10 years?

Effective biosecurity is everyone's business!

There are a huge number of animal health and welfare programs and projects WoolProducers Australia are involved in on behalf of industry.  Many of these projects focus on specialist programs with the aim to prevent, minimalise or manage biosecurity threats.  

Australia is currently FMD-free and we plan to keep it that way.  However, if FMD were to arrive in Australia, the negative health, welfare and economic impacts would be gigantic to say the least.  FMD is a highly contagious disease of cloven-hoofed animals.  Australia has extremely strict quarantine controls to help prevent entry of FMD into Australia. 

In the event of an outbreak, it is estimated it would cost Australia around $52 billion over 10 years.  On behalf of industry, WoolProducers Australia and partners including Sheepmeat Council of Australia and Animal Health Australia manage the risk assessment and response to a potential FMD incursion.  

Exercise Odysseus, a nation-wide simulated response to an FMD outbreak in the form of a livestock standstill has been running over the last year.  By running a simulation, and testing communications and logistics, the livestock industries can be better prepared for an FMD response - the impact will still be large but this kind of exercise will assist in identifying the greatest risks, and finding better ways of responding to such a crisis. More info here

Animal health and welfare is of the utmost importance to Australian wool growers and WoolProducers Australia is working hard to assist growers with this outcome in mind.  Healthy sheep are productive, which in turn brings better returns to the grower.  

(photo credit: Nicole Burns, Millthorpe, NSW)

Are you a sheep shutterbug?! 

Do you like to take photos of your mob when you're out in the paddock?  

At WoolProducers, we know wool and sheep growers are committed to excellent animal health and welfare.  We want to encourage growers to take photos of their everyday activities so we can showcase the great work being done by producers Australia-wide.  Those photos might show the land and sheep that you see everyday, but some of our readers may have never seen anything like it.  Help us spread the good word about Australian wool growers and how they really do care about their livestock.

Here's what to do:

Make sure you tell us your name so we can correctly attribute the photo.

Tell us a bit about yourself - for example, where you farm, what you run, how long have you been at it, and so forth.

Attach high resolution photo(s)

Hit send!                        

photo credit: Anne Rosewarne


Is Ovine Brucellosis (OB) a concern in your area?

Have a look at this video sponsored by WoolProducers and the Sheepmeat Council to see a case study on how OB was managed in the Mallee.



WoolProducers and Sheepmeat Council have partnered on several different education and infomation videos that highlight best practice animal health and welfare. 

More to come soon!


Australian Wool: the Fibre of Football

Shearers, woolgrowers, agents and sheep studs are uniting to celebrate the rich heritage connecting the wool industry and Australian Rules Football.

If you havent seen this wonderful video celebrating community, footy and wool, have a look!




Industry Re-emphasises Support for Current Mob-Based ID, Rejects Mandatory RFIDs

Read Terry Sim's story at on the overwhelming rejection by industry of mandatory RFIDs for sheep and goats here                               

Identification of sheep is necessary for biosecurity and traceability - the current mob-based identification system is simple and proven to be effective.  Correctly filling out the accompanying NVD forms is essentail in making the current mob-based identification work at its best.

WoolProducers Australia supports the right of individual growers who chose to use electronic tags but has the position that mandatory electronic tagging would pose unnecesary cost and impose impracticalities. 

(photo credit: Megan Banks, Blackall QLD)



National Wild Dog Action Plan hits the ground running

Minister Barnaby Joyce during the launch

The Minister for Agriculture, the Honourable Barnaby Joyce, (picture by Emma Brown) has officially endorsed the National Wild Dog Action Plan and has announced the allocation of a $280,000 grant.

The money will be used for initiating the implementation of the plan as well as working with landholders tackling the problem of wild dogs. It is expected the initial phase of implementation will take up to 9 months, overseen by an appointed interim chair.

The team working on the implementation consists of representatives from the small and large production animal sectors, delegates from the Department of Agriculture and Vertebrate Pests Committee as well as a research and development corporations representative.

They will be supported by a stakeholder advisory group to be confirmed by the implementation team during July 2014.

Jim McKenzie, Chair of the Development Committee, said the next stage of the plan was going to be in good hands. "We are confident in handing over the implementation to this group, who between them have excellent on-the-ground management and dog experience, they really understand the devastation that wild dogs cause. The group is also committed to dealing with the very serious problem of wild dogs in a coordinated way.”

Geoff FiskenWoolProducers Australia President, Geoff Fisken, said, “Today is the culmination of a lot of hard work and the beginning of a new phase. I know these people who are looking after this next stage and they will be rolling up their sleeves to make sure that all the efforts that are currently going into wild dog management are capitalised on. You go to so many places in the bush and time and again, the thing that they will talk about as a huge problem is dogs.”

WoolProducers Australia identified a gap in the management of wild dogs, being a national coordinated approach where all states, territories and the Commonwealth work together, and initiated the consultation for the plan.

Much work is done by community groups, biosecurity groups, and regional environment groups to address this significant pest issue. The plan takes a nil-tenure approach. For example, wild dogs don’t abide by farm boundary lines or regional or state borders. Nil-tenure takes this into account and uses an overall landscape approach.

All state agriculture or environment ministers have signed off on the plan and the endorsement from the Federal Government makes this a first in pest management in Australia and a possible future model for tackling other pests.

Minister Joyce, said he was proud to be able to provide Federal support to launch this important Industry driven initiative.

“I am fully aware of just how big the issue of wild dogs can be for our primary producers – with an estimated cost of $48.5 million a year, wild dogs have a devastating impact on many farms across Australia. 

“It is not just the financial and environmental consequences of wild dogs that concern me; but also the emotional distress this problem causes farmers concerned for their livestock. It’s clear there is a real need for a coordinated approach to this issue and I congratulate WoolProducers Australia for taking such a leading role in developing the National Wild Dog Action Plan.”

National Wild Dog Action Plan

Media Release


Communication the key to tackling sheep disease in Tasmania

This You Tube video clip was produced by WoolProducers Australia and the Sheepmeat Council of Australia. It gives an overview of the rise of footrot as a serious issue for wool and sheep meat producers.  

British GQ's 25th Anniversary: Savile Row is Rock 'N' Roll

No one would question the fact that around the world Britain is celebrated both for unbeatable music and its unimpeachable menswear. So, to celebrate 25 years as the UK's best men's magazine, GQ has brought the two together in a unique photographic portfolio (in collaboration with The Woolmark Company). We've taken the exceptional performers who have rocked our world over the past quarter of a century and dressed them in Savile Row's finest bespoke tailoring with Merino wool fabrics from the very best British manufacturing wool mills. Just as British music today boasts its biggest ever share of the global market, right now the British menswear industry - from manufacture to design - has never been stronger. Welcome, friends, to the show that never ends...

Another cool wool story here...

WoolProducers Annual Review

WPA Annual Review 2013The WoolProducers Annual Review is launched during Wool Week and it serves to bring together industry perspectives from across the spectrum of wool production and marketing. WPA Annual Review 2013 E Zine.

The review is a contemporary account of the Australian wool industry by wool producers, for wool producers. It does this by compiling state reports from each of the six state farming organisations, who each contribute a director to the WPA board, plus reports from the WPA President and three Independent Directors. Report in the Weekly Times Friday 13 September. See the previous 2012 WoolProducers Annual Review 

Contact CEO Jane Brownbill at

Subscribe to WoolProducers Australia

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