The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) Livestock Group is leading regulatory change in partnership with the Victorian Government to mandate pain relief for mulesing sheep to achieve the highest animal welfare outcomes.
“Mulesing remains the most effective method for controlling breech flystrike, a terribly painful and fatal affliction for sheep. To deliver the best possible animal welfare outcomes, we have proactively advocated for mandatory pain relief when mulesing,” said Mr Leonard Vallance, VFF Livestock Group President.
“We received a strong indication from wool producers that they want to retain the ability to mulse sheep, and that over 90 per cent of Victorian producers are already using pain relief when mulesing.
“The VFF Livestock Council made a unanimous decision to lead the industry in mandating pain relief and the feedback we’ve received from our members, farmers and industry commentators has been extremely positive.
“The draft regulation, which will be available for public consultation in August (2019), stipulates that any mulesing procedure on sheep must be accompanied by an approved pain relief medication. We will be providing more information to our members in the coming weeks to prepare them for the regulatory change.
“The development of the new regulation is an example of a productive relationship between industry and government to provide confidence in our industry and how we care for our animals. This is a major step to further bolstering Victoria’s best-practice animal welfare,” said Mr Vallance.
Victoria is set to be the first Australian State to mandate pain relief for mulesing sheep. The new regulation will be included in the review of the State’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. The proposed regulation is set to become effective in December 2020, enabling producers to prepare for the new requirement.