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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2014-15
• Further advances in laser technology are being assessed to see if this technique can be used to perform a permanent crutch and thereby reduce the risk of breech strike. • The Australian Veterinary Association auditors (Dr Bruce Allworth and Dr David Hucker) review the Breech Strike RD&E program on a six-monthly basis and concluded: "It was noted that the Program has now been running for 10 years (2005-2015), and considerable progress in the understanding of the genetics of breech strike, alternative breech modification techniques and in animal welfare strategies and measurements have occurred as a result of the comprehensive range of research undertaken by AWI over that period. AWI continues to investigate a wide range of alternatives to mulesing in both the short and long term." • The Genetic Reviewers for the Breech Strike RD&E program (Dr Peter James and Dr Forbes Brien) review the program on an annual basis and in summary concluded: "Research toward new and better methods of control has been accompanied by a vigorous extension campaign and we congratulate the numerous agencies and individuals involved in the design and delivery of breech strike extension programs and preparation of trainer resource material, particularly for the breeding and genetics component of these. The effort that has been expended to digest the research results, to develop them to practical tools suitable for use by woolgrowers with different selection objectives, philosophies and approaches, and to extend them to industry to enable timely implementation is commendable." • An updated National Mulesing Accreditation Program (funded by Animal Health Australia working with WoolProducers and AWI) has been approved be AgriFood Skills Australia with Train the Trainer assessments planned for early 2015/16. • Two lice control groups (one on the Eyre Peninsula, the other in the central tablelands) showed that a coordinated effort between woolgrowers can reduce the incidence of infected properties. However after 2-3 years, lice were still found on around 30% of properties. • Monitoring greasy wool chemical residues continued with the overwhelming majority of lots tested showing very low residue levels. • The study "OJD -- a spatial analysis" found limited support for an association between Soil pH and OJD. The paper arising is awaiting peer review and publication. Whilst a weak association was found, the study clearly showed OJD prevalence is affected by several factors concurrently, and soil pH plays a relatively small role in explaining OJD prevalence when all other factors are accounted for. • A Benefit Cost Analysis tool for use by farmers, farm advisors/consultants and other industry professionals was developed to assist in determining the most economic route to eradicating footrot in Tasmanian sheep flocks -- principally. This tool will be a key to the uptake of the Strain Specific Vaccine technology to combat footrot in this (or any other) environment. • AWI has successfully piloted a high throughput wool bale decontamination system for use in the event of a biosecurity incident. • AWI is involved in a range of R&D Strategies, including the National Wool R&D Strategy, Biosecurity RD&E Strategy, Animal Welfare RD&E Strategy, and State Government Wool R&D Strategies. • Support of community groups undertaking wild dog control with the long-term aim for them to be self-funded. • Provision of training to woolgrowers. • Support of R&D to refine existing tools. • Monitoring of wild dog populations and their impact on the environment. 12 new community groups established each year. 24 new groups were established in 2014/15. 22 active groups supported each year. 34 currently active groups are being supported. Support for any individual wild dog group is nominally a maximum of three years. (This revised target was developed during the year in consultation with the AWI Wild Dog Advisory Group and AWI Board.) AWI management is monitoring the length of support for individual groups. Value of avoided stock loss (sheep) is greater than costs to woolgrowers and AWI combined. Questions relating to stock losses have been added to the Community Wild Dog Control Initiative producer survey. The results to-date (251 growers/17 groups in Qld, NSW and WA show average stock losses decreased by 224 head, worth more than $20,000 pa. REPORT OF 2014/15 OPERATIONS -- ON-FARM R&D
AWI Annual Report 2013-14
AWI Annual Report 2015-16