World News – 28 March 2008

- Advertisement -

More mulesed wool trouble for the Aussies

The Australian wool industry is beginning to panic as it faces the threat of losing its markets in Europe, as growing numbers of retailers say they won’t buy products made from mulesed wool. he New South Wales Farmers’ Association executive council is calling for the Australian sheep and wool industry taskforce to order an immediate end to mulesing. The taskforce has yet to respond. And to make matters worse, a European television station showed footage of an Australian official trying to bribe an animal rights campaigner to prevent her from appearing on television. The newly elected Labour Party is saying the official acted on his own, while the opposition is calling for an investigation to be launched. Mulesing, the on-farm surgical process that removes unwanted skin folds from the breeches of Merino-type sheep to reduce blowfly strike, is virtually unknown in South Africa. This is according to a statement released by Cape Wools. Some of the reasons given for this were that most of the local wool clip is from harsh, low-rainfall areas where blowflies are scarce. It’s also common practice to crutch (shear the breech area) of ewes halfway through the fleece’s growth cycle, which eliminates the moist, woolly environment where blowflies can flourish. – Alan Harman and Roelof Bezuidenhout

Beef imports on the rise

- Advertisement -

American beef imports are projected to grow 19% to about 1,75 million tons in the next 10 years. ther countries are also projected to increase purchases – Russia by 33% to nearly 1,4 million tons, Japan by 19% to 851 000t and Mexico by 91% to 765 000t. owever, the EU is projected to reduce imports to 709 000t down from an estimated 725 000t last year. US analysts accord the EU reduction to factors such as lacklustre consumption, limited beef supplies and high consumer prices. – Alan Harman