The focus for the mulesing debate has been firmly directed at the wool industry, but now the Sheep meat industry is coming under fire according to the Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) managing director Richard Norton.
Mr Norton speaking at the Best Wool Best Lamb conference in Bendigo put up a slide of a mulesed lamb in a cradle. He said, “I don’t think you have to be a genius to understand - how people against eating animals, against eating red meat, and those trying to attack the industry from a vegan point of view - what those images would do to your markets.”
He went on to say, “the challenge for you, as an industry, is to understand that you are very exposed at this point in time around the (mulesing) issue.”
The majority of the meat Sheep don't need mulesing, but with Merino's now fully being considered part of the Sheep meat industry, the thinking is that any Merino that is mulesed is a reflection on the whole meat industry. They are all in it together.
Some Merino breeder have successfully eliminated mulesing out of their flocks with no real hassles, but some Merino Sheep simply require mulesing to survive. Today's Merino Sheep are much plainer than those of 8-10 years ago as a real push has gone into de-wrinkling the animal
However, the pressure is mounting, the world has changed and the sooner the industry is in a position to stop completely the better off it will be. Without the mulesing monkey on it back the sheep industry would be far less venerable that it is today