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Australian National Wool Declaration 2017 recommendations published

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The AWEX Board has completed its consideration and approval of recommendations made by the Industry Services Advisory Committee (ISAC) with respect to the National Wool Declaration (NWD) and its Integrity Program.


The AWEX Board noted that the increase in the declaration rate to currently over 60% of eligible wool is a positive sign of the acceptance of the NWD as an integral component of the detailed information required by today’s wool supply chain.


“AWEX regularly receives requests from exporters and retailers seeking certificates validating the declared mulesing status of their purchases” said Mark Grave, AWEX CEO. “These requests have grown significantly over the past two years as have the international inquiries regarding the NWD.”


“AWEX received submissions for the review from industry organisations, growers, individual companies as well as the Italian Wool Trade Association. This clearly indicates the global interest in the NWD” said Mr. Grave. “The review considered all aspects of the NWD – Integrity Program.”


As a result of the review and the need for timely information, AWEX has since appointed an additional On Farm Inspector to add depth to the inspection team.


The following is a summary of the key discussion points from the 2017 NWD Review:

  1. The NWD will remain a voluntary program. There was no support to make the NWD mandatory.
  2. The Ceased Mulesing (CM) category declaration will remain due to its commercial support from buyers; and potentially, CM may provide an incentive for Growers moving towards non mulesing.
  3. The application of CM will remain a property declaration (as opposed to a mob declaration) as it is a statement of the husbandry practice at that point in time.
  4. The definition of CM has been improved to provide greater clarity about its use and intent.

Ceased Mulesing (CM)

Wool from sheep where mulesing has ceased on the property. No lambs born on this property in the last 12 months have been mulesed. No purchased sheep are mulesed.

  1. The mulesing status codes remain: NM = Non Mulesed, CM = Ceased Mulesing, PR = Mulesed with Pain Relief, Mulesed (M) = Mulesed without Pain Relief, ND = Not Declared, (status unknown).
  2. Family Interlots of the same mulesing status will be able to be combined and have a Mulesing Status applied.
  3. AWEX will continue to monitor the emergence and uptake of new pain relief products in the market place.
  4. It was agreed that an ongoing communication plan and strategy should be implemented to create greater awareness of the importance of the NWD through the supply chain, to build on the sound foundation of declarations to date and to address concerns about the current completion and compliance rates of the NWD.
  5. The inclusion of buyer/processor testimonials is also considered critical to the success of a communication strategy and extension campaign.
  6. There appears to be increasingly firm evidence of price incentives in the market for NM wool. As a result, there is a need to expand the analysis and reports of potential price differentials, and where robustly evident, report these to industry.


  1. The independent audit program carried out by AWEX as part of the NWD Integrity Program will continue as it is considered critical to the international acceptance and recognition of the NWD.
  2. As appropriate, AWEX will increase the number of verifications of the use of Pain Relief at mulesing and on farm inspections for declarations of Non Mulesed or Ceased Mulesing status in response to increased adoption of the NWD.


Copies of the NWD combined with the Classer’s Specification, as well as separate NWDs, are available on the AWEX website

Source: AWEX

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