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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2007-08
WOOL PRODUCTION 2007/2008 cLIPS: alternative to mulesing In 2007, three trials were established to determine the effectiveness of clips to prevent flystrike. The clips are attached to the flaps of skin around the breech and tails of lambs that would be removed during mulesing. The lack of blood supply causes the flap of skin to wither and typically fall off within a couple of weeks to leave a closed linear scar. For the ‘Clip Product Development and Testing (PDT) Trial’, Australian woolgrowers were invited to take part in broad scale commercial trials of the clips – over 1100 woolgrowers responded with offers to trial the clips. AWI is currently immersed in the data entry and analysis process of information from 200 sites with almost one million items of data generated. The trial compared untreated animals with clipped animals. Early indications are that the clips are working towards producing an outcome similar to mulesing, yet with welfare and productivity gains as lambs similar to untreated animals. A ‘Universal Clip Trial’ comparing clip design and a ‘Positive Control Mulesed Trial’ comparing mulesed, unmulesed and clipped animals were also undertaken. Results have shown that breech and tail clips have advantages over the Universal Clip. The two year ‘Positive Control Mulesed’ trial is being conducted on four wool-growing properties in three states. The study is designed to scientifically evaluate the performance of clips compared with mulesing compared with no treatment. At each location, a mob of 360 lambs at lamb marking was either clipped, mulesed or left untreated and measurements taken for breech and tail bare area, breech wrinkle, dag, urine stain, bodyweight gain, survival and flystrike and this will continue until the lambs are 24 months old. Results at day 90 show clips have performed well in the following animal management areas (table right): More information: www.wool.com.au/2010 28 ANNUAL AWI 07/08 SuRVIVAL Compared to mulesed lambs, 4 in 100 more lambs survived when clipped - Significant advantage of clips; clips same as untreated FLYSTRIKE Compared to mulesed lambs, 1 in 100 more lambs were struck by flies when clipped - Slight advantage of mulseing; large advantage of clips compared to no treatment BODY WEIGHT Clipped lambs consistently had better daily weight gain and overall bodyweights - Significant advantage of clips; clips same as untreated WELFARE Significantly less pain and stress for clipped lambs than mulesed lambs - Significant advantage of clips to mulesing; clipped animals very similar to untreated
AWI Annual Report 2008-09
Annual Report 2006-07