Breeders already on the pain relief road and happy with it

Merino breeders embracing pain relief at mulesing


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PRODUCTIVE: Joyces Creek woolgrower Tony Butler says the move to mandate pain relief at mulesing was a good move. The lambs benefitted and it was good for the industry's image.

PRODUCTIVE: Joyces Creek woolgrower Tony Butler says the move to mandate pain relief at mulesing was a good move. The lambs benefitted and it was good for the industry's image.

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Duel benefit from pain relief for lambs at mulesing - animal welfare and image.

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Joyces Creek woolgrower Tony Butler is proud to say he has been using pain relief on lambs during mulesing operations since it became available.

Mr Butler said that was more than 10 years ago and he was happy with the procedure.

The Butlers operate a family-run enterprise including woolgrowing and cropping at a number of locations in central Victoria.

Mr Butler is an avowed Merino breeder, using the NSW-based Hazeldean stud genetics.

The Merino lambs were mulesed after an application of analgesic to provide pain relief.

The wound was also treated with Click, post the procedure, to provide ongoing wound protection.

"There is no doubt that the pain relief means the lambs get back to the paddock for a drink from their mothers more quickly," he said.

He said the proposal to mandate the use of pain relief was a good move.

"It cleans up the industry and gives us a good look publically," he said.

"There are more products and more widely available than there were when we started."

Mr Butler said the process wasn't difficult.

NO MULESING: Marnoo sheep breeder Den Duxson said the writing was on the wall for mulesing when competitors do not.

NO MULESING: Marnoo sheep breeder Den Duxson said the writing was on the wall for mulesing when competitors do not.

The Butlers shear twice a year with the aim of maximising staple length over that growing period.

"The Hazeldean genetics are probably a bit plainer but bigger frame and we select for longer staple length," he said.

"We feed at a rate to keep our sheep as productive as possible.

"I am proud to say our young ewes and wethers grow $10 worth of wool each month on a six-month shearing - but we are throwing the feed at them."

Marnoo sheep breeder Den Duxson said the move to pain relief was an indication of the "way the world is going".

"It's what the customer wants," Mr Duxson said.

He operates Glendemar Multi Purpose Merino and hasn't mulesed for 18 years.

"The writing is on the wall for mulesing; our competitors don't mules," he said.

He said it was up to individual growers to choose their own breeding objectives - what was critical for them.

There is no doubt that the pain relief means the lambs get back to the paddock for a drink from their mothers more quickly. - Tony Butler, Joyces Creek

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