Is our industry at the cross roads? I think it is. If you have been reading any of the rural papers, or keeping an eye on social media, then you will know there are some pretty big topics up for discussion.
Mulesing is back on the agenda, and what I can’t understand is how it ever went off the agenda. The most common response I hear from farmers on the issue is along the lines of “when there is a premium for non mulesed, we will stop mulesing”, or “while we can still do it, we will”. My question is why do we need someone to pay us to do the right thing? Why would we need someone to make us do the right thing? Why doesn’t our industry have enough backbone to just do the right thing?
I know there will be people saying “but we need something, what are the alternatives”, and it is a valid point, as it was every time someone asked the same question over the past 50 plus years. While we keep putting our heads in the sand, and doing nothing as a collective industry, we will continue to get the same answer; “we can’t do without it”.
What if our industry had done more 50 years ago, or 40 years ago, or 30 years ago, or 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago? Would we still be faced with such a daunting problem. There are plenty of people who have actually stopped mulesing, and I can’t commend them enough. Using genetics and management to overcome a problem because it is the right thing to do!
Mulesing isn’t just a wool issue, it has now transcended all sheep industries as a problem. So when is the best time for the industry, and you individually, to make a stance and commit to doing the right thing? RIGHT NOW! The easiest way to start, is to actually begin.