Industry moves to mandate pain relief

VFF ramps up pain relief stance


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POLICY CHANGE: Victorian Farmers Federation Livestock Group president Leonard Vallance said the change in policy, relating to the use of an analgesic when conducting mulesing, was about being on the front foot and being proactive.

POLICY CHANGE: Victorian Farmers Federation Livestock Group president Leonard Vallance said the change in policy, relating to the use of an analgesic when conducting mulesing, was about being on the front foot and being proactive.

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Mandating pain relief on lambs at mulesing puts the sheep industry on the front foot.

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Victorian sheep producers are set to again lead the way with the use of pain relief for mulesing to be mandated.

The Victorian Farmers Federation announced it would ramp up its policy relating to the use of an analgesic when conducting mulesing.

VFF Livestock Group president Leonard Vallance said the change in policy was about being on the front foot and being proactive.

"We have listened to our farmers about what they want and what's right for the industry," Mr Vallance said.

From general comments of farmers, the view was to change the old policy to make pain relief mandatory, he said.

"Farmers are saying the treated sheep are doing better," he said.

"Farmers are now confident using the process, so get on with it.

"The new policy is about best practice, it shows where farmers are at as far as animal welfare goes."

He said the use of pain relief should not need a step up, it was just another process.

Mulesing was the most effective measure in the prevention of the life-threatening condition, flystrike.

"Until a suitable and economically viable alternative is provided, we believe woolgrowers need the right to continue the practice of mulesing in order to protect their livestock from flystrike," he said.

"To secure the longevity of this husbandry practice, the Australian wool industry must take steps to achieve the highest animal welfare outcome when adopting this method.

We have listened to our farmers about what they want and what's right for the industry. - Leonard Vallance, VFF Livestock Group president

Mr Vallance said the next step would be to discuss the new policy with the State Government.

He said the decision was timely as the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act rules were due to be reviewed.

The VFF would also take the policy to the national body for a national approach.

He said all producers and breeders weighed up the advantages and disadvantages of wrinkle in sheep.

"That is a much debated topic by industry; mulesing is a cost, and if that cost could be removed that would be a plus," he said.

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