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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2014-15
• 24 new community wild dog control groups were established. The demand was steady for much of the year, with slight easing towards the end. • At 30 June 2015, there were 34 currently active community wild dog control groups, with five requests for assistance are under consideration. The first request has been received from a 'cell' or 'cluster' group. Issues with planning, coordination and reporting remain; but management response is now SOP. The development of more and better guidelines is under way. • In a recent ABARES survey, when asked to self-rate the effectiveness of their groups, 67% said they were highly effective, 27% said medium and 6% low. • In consultation with the AWI Wild Dog Advisory Group and AWI Board, support for any individual wild dog group has been nominally set at a maximum of three years. Management is monitoring the length of support for individual groups. 20-25% of Victoria and Queensland groups have exceeded or will exceed 36 month support by the end of the 2015 calendar year. End of year support is an average of $19,734 per group. Groups and state/regional coordinators have been advised of the change to three years of AWI support. While there have been some concerns expressed, there has been a general acceptance. Advice to groups is ongoing. • Wild dog co-ordinators continued to be funded to facilitate collaboration between landholders (in new or existing wild dog management groups) and with other key stakeholders, locally and across shires. They also help coordinate on-ground wild dog control activities. Co-ordinators funded by AWI during 2014/15 are: NSW (western division): Bruce Duncan; NSW (north-east): Dave Worsely (started May 2015); Queensland: Brett Carlsson; Victoria (Gipplsland): Brian Dowley and David Krajca; Victoria (north-east): Tim Enshaw; WA: currently being recruited; National Wild Dog Facilitator: Greg Mifsud. • AWI has played an important role in supporting groups with funds for doggers, training and other support. The flexible nature of AWI funding was commended; that is, providing funds for the most important activity as determined by the group (within AWI criteria) rather than the prescriptive use of funds. According to woolgrower Trevor Howden of Glenaladale in Victoria, wild dog activity has been reduced after the implementation of a community baiting program: "It has taken a lot of stress off me, knowing I'm doing something proactive rather than waiting for the next attack." • New knowledge on analgesic options for sheep for development by the commercial pharmaceutical and veterinary sector. • Delivery of new knowledge on the timing (relative to age/size) of existing husbandry procedures and extension to stakeholders to inform welfare best practice. Deliver a significant reduction in adverse welfare response from current technologies within best practice by 2017. Further work on xylazine has ceased. Volumes of pain relief declared wool continue to rise. See buccal meloxicam below. Develop pain relief alternatives with a maximum added cost of 50 cents per head per application by 2017. A trial conducted by the CSIRO and funded by AWI and Troy Laboratories showed that buccal meloxicam has significantly improved welfare at lamb marking. Troy Laboratories is progressing with APVMA registration with the hope to release it in 2016 at less than 50 cents per head. • CSIRO conducted a trial using buccal meloxicam (pain relief product in a very sticky paste "drenched" into the mouth against the lower cheek) and showed significant welfare improvements for lamb marking. The paper published by Dr Alison Small and Dr Ian Colditz and others in the Australian Veterinary Journal (AVJ) won the Most Commendable Paper published in the AVJ by the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists. • A trial has been planned for 2015/16 to assess buccal meloxicam for mulesing along with a range of other breech modification alternatives. • See Program 1: Parasites & Diseases (page 11) for alternative options to mulesing. REPORT OF 2014/15 OPERATIONS -- ON-FARM R&D
AWI Annual Report 2013-14
AWI Annual Report 2015-16