The National Wool Declaration (NWD) is an important document for wool growers to demonstrate their commitment to best-practice animal welfare on their properties.
The NWD is administered by the Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX), an independent, not-for-profit company that develops standards, compliance programs and information systems on behalf of the Australian wool industry.
Growers can use the NWD to declare their use of pain relief, to demonstrate that they have ceased mulesing on their property, or state that their flock is completely non-mulesed.
NSW Farmers supports the right of growers to continue to mules as part of their animal welfare management practices, and we also strongly encourage the use of pain relief when mulesing.
NSW Farmers encourages all growers to correctly fill out the NWD and is keen to see increased NWD usage.
In recent years there has been a greater uptake of NWD, with growers stating their current mulesing status.
This is good news.
The NWD is critical to industry because it provides a transparent picture of our on-farm practises to buyers, and is backed by a strong integrity program.
AWEX conducts on-farm audits for non-mulesed and ceased-mulesing properties, and also audits purchases of pain relief products.
NSW Farmers believes that the NWD should be made a mandatory condition for wool sales, to improve transparency in the system and help tell the ethical and positive story of Australian wool.
Significant price premiums for non-mulesed wool will send positive market signals to increase production of this type of wool.
Reward and recognition that acknowledges the increased cost to produce non-mulesed wool, rather than regulation, will help us build on our reputation for animal welfare and lead to better outcomes.
– Andrew Wood, NSW Farmers’ Wool Committee chairman