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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2008-09
R&D operations Shearer and wool handler training Skilled staff are seen by the Australian wool industry as being integral to the harvesting and preparation of the Australian wool clip. AWI's shearer and wool handler training program has aimed to: • help the wool harvesting industry ensure the availability of competent workers through the delivery of industry relevant training programs and credible skill assessment; • attract and retain new entrants; • build the capacity of existing workers; • increase the profitability of woolgrowers; and • maximise government funding and support for shearer and wool handler training. AWI has funded training for improver' and professional shearers, as well as for novice and improver wool handlers. Provided by registered training organisations, the training focuses on shearers and wool handlers in the shed, particularly on increasing their productivity and skill development. 1555 shearers and 1231 wool handlers have been trained directly through the AWI program in 2008/09. During 2008/09, AWI has reduced its operating costs in shearer and wool handler training, to allow more of its funding to be targeted directly to the training. AWI has also worked hard to increase the Federal and State contributions to training delivery. The promotion of traineeships has been at the heart of this work. Improving the numbers, quality and productivity of shearers and wool handlers is a focus for AWI. Breech flystrike prevention AWI supports all woolgrowers in their choice of best practice animal health and hygiene in flystrike control. AWI is undertaking a fast tracked R&D program to deliver welfare improved methods of flystrike prevention. • Research over the past four years based at Armidale (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation -- CSIRO) and Mt Barker (Department Of Agriculture and Food WA) confirms that breech wrinkle is the major predictor of breech strike followed by dags, breech cover (bare area) and wool colour. • Training was conducted across Australia for accreditation of mulesing operators. • Around the country, a large proportion of growers use best practice, welfare-enhanced surgery with pain relief. • Breech clips were commercially released by Leader Products in May. An increasing number of farmers are expected to adopt this new technology. • AWI-assisted research continues with the Cobbett Technologies SkintractionTM' option that involves using a needleless applicator and air pressure to apply the SkintractionTM product to the breech of lambs. • The introduction of the NWD is giving the supply chain transparency about woolgrowers' flystrike control strategies. Wild dog control initiatives The wool industry is acting to combat a growing number of attacks by wild dogs on stock, with several initiatives being undertaken by the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) and collaborators, with support from AWI. One such project aims to deliver a new toxin option for control of wild dogs, and foxes, with improved target specificity and faster, more humane action. One agent, para-aminopropiophenone (PAPP) has shown considerable promise in pen and field trials for foxes, and is currently being assessed for efficacy in wild dogs. The correct formulation to induce lethal effects in the most rapid manner is being calibrated. PAPP has greater specificity to the canid and felid families and is fast acting, with no visible signs of distress. An antidote compound has been developed for instances when baits are accidentally taken by working dogs. A National Wild Dog Management Advisory Group (NWDMAG) has been instigated to provide a national approach to wild dog management replacing the previous state-by-state approach. Since its inception in 2008, the NWDMAG has been establishing collaboration between wild dog management groups, land managers, industry and researchers within and across states. REPORT OF OPERATIONS -- R&D
AWI Annual Report 2007-08
AWI Annual Report 2009-10