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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2015-16
• 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: “AWI continues to invest in research aimed at decreasing breechstrike and specifically to decrease the reliance of wool producers on mulesing. Interestingly, this work, while initially aimed at ‘solving’ the mulesing issue, has resulted in and continues to support much broader sheep welfare outcomes. In this current period reviewed, AWI has supported work on better understanding animal welfare markers, and work aimed at analgesic formulations that will have much wider sheep welfare applications.” • 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.” • Monitoring greasy wool chemical residues continued with the overwhelming majority of lots tested showing very low residue levels. The process and analysis were reviewed, and a revised protocol agreed with AWTA. The scope of the survey was expanded to include New Zealand. The aggregated Australasian data will be used to refute negative claims being made about wool’s environmental cleanliness by some environmental groups. • Biosecurity: The National Wool Biosecurity RD&E Strategy was renewed. AWTA commenced construction of a containerised industrial prototype wool bale decontamination system, and a major review of wool bale traceability systems was successfully completed. • Australian National RD&E Framework. AWI continued its involvement sectoral and cross- sectoral in RD&E Strategies, and major developments were the renewal of the National Wool RD&E Strategy and the Wool Biosecurity RD&E Strategy. Department of Agriculture and Food (WA) senior research officer Dr Johan Greeff (left) and senior veterinary officer Dr Dieter Palmer with Dr Shimin Liu, University of Western Australia, and Chinese visiting scholar Dr Zhong Quan Zhao discussing the importance of conducting faeces testing for long term reduction in worm egg count along with reducing dags.. PROGRAM 2: WILD DOGS INVESTMENT FOCUS • Support of community groups undertaking wild dog control with long-term aim for groups to be self-funded • Provision of training to growers • Support of R&D to refine existing tools • Monitoring of wild dog populations and their impact on the environment. STRATEGIC TARGETS Targets for three-year period 2013/14 to 2015/16 Progress during 2015/16 12 new community groups established each year. Achieved. 28 new groups established in 2015/16 (12NSW,7Vic,4WA,4Qld,1SA). 22 active groups supported each year. Achieved. 28 active groups supported during 2015/16 (13NSW,6Vic,4WA,4Qld,1SA). Support for any individual wild dog group is nominally a maximum of three years. Achieved. Two Victoria-based groups have reached the 36 month limit and have been given final assistance to achieve sustainability. AWI management continues to monitor length of support. Value of avoided stock loss (sheep) is greater than costs to woolgrowers and AWI combined. Achieved. Questions relating to stock losses are included in the Community Wild Dog Control Initiative producer survey. Results to-date, from 42 valid group surveys representing 501 producer responses, showed an average reduction in losses due to wild dog predation of 1,485 sheep (all classes) – from 1,790 head average per group per year before group activities, to 305 head per group after activities. This represents an average benefit per group of $144,006. Average AWI investment per group is currently $19,160. 12 REPORT OF 2015/16 OPERATIONS – ON-FARM R&D
AWI Annual Report 2014-15
AWI Annual Report 2016-17