Cowra sheep producer Doug Wright will never go back to mulesing

Cowra producer will never go back to mulesing after undertaking the breeding solution approach

Since undertaking a breeding solution approach to mulesing in 2010, Cowra sheep producer Doug Wright says he will never go back.

Mr Wright runs approximately 1200 to 1300 ewes on his property ‘Claremont’.

At the time when Mr Wright began the breeding solution eight years ago, he said mulesing was being phased out anyway.

“I take the view ‘why would I breed sheep that need mulesing, when it’s possible to breed sheep that don’t need it’,” he said.

“I never think of going back to breeding sheep that have to be mulesed.”

With his approach, Mr Wright hasn’t needed to use chemicals for flystrike since 2012.

He says the non-mulesed sheep are are highly fertile and easier to look after.

“With high fertility it’s really a winner and the maintenance levels are lower then wrinkly sheep we had years before,” Mr Wright said.

It took Mr Wright just two sheep generations to achieve the breeding solution.

“In two sheep generations the problem (of mulesing) can be eliminated,” he said.

“But it requires understanding, sticking to the plan and using proper genetics.

“You see the difference in the first generation, but in the second it’s bulletproof.”

Mr Wright said producers can’t expect to have different results if they’re doing the same thing every time and that a breeding solution to mulesing was highly doable and of great benefit.

“Once you’ve done it with the proper genetic plan you don’t go back,” he said.

Although New Zealand is a smaller country, they are leading the way with non-mulesing, Mr Wright said.

He wishes Australia had an organisation leading its wool industry and showing producers other options to take in regards to non-mulesing, but he said there is reluctance.

“There’s no intention (for industry organisations)… to promote this at all. They’re not promoting a good news story, but there’s a real good story that could be projected to the world,” he said.

Mr Wright said because of this it is up to non-mulesing producers to promote it to others.

“If we had a progressive organisation we’d be leading the world… but other countries are going to get ahead of us,” he said.