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Media Release Dept of DPI, Victoria - Mulesing

POSTED on Sep 10 2012
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Department of Primary Industries, Victoria, Australia

Media release: Accreditation a must for mulesing operators

3 Sep 12

Now that spring has arrived, the job of lamb marking is on producers 'to do' list and the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is reminding sheep producers that mulesing must be carried out by trained operators.

Mulesing is performed on the breech area to help prevent an extremely painful condition called flystrike, which occurs when blowflies lay eggs next to the sheep's anus and the eggs hatch into maggots, which can lead to death by blood poisoning.

DPI Animal Health Officer John Bodey said any producer or contractor who continued to practice mulesing on sheep was required to follow mulesing best practice.

"The animal welfare and hygiene guidelines are important to achieving the desired result with a minimum of stress to the lamb," Mr Bodey said.

"Traditionally, the procedure of mulesing was learned from other producers or contractors without any formal training or qualification.

"Today, under the Code of Accepted Farming Practice for the Welfare of Sheep (Victoria), the surgical husbandry practice of mulesing must be performed in accordance with the minimum standards described in the Mulesing Procedure.

"Any person carrying out mulesing must be accredited to perform the procedure in compliance with an industry quality assurance management program.

"Operators must have appropriate competencies, demonstrated following a formal accreditation process or by other assessment by a Registered Training Organisation.

"A post mulesing pain relief spray is also now available to help reduce the impact of the procedure on treated lambs."

Producers or contractors that are not yet trained and assessed as competent and intend to perform mulesing this season need to contact Kondinin Group Industry Training or the Livestock Contractors Association to become accredited.

For further information, please contact your local DPI Animal Health or Veterinary Officer.

Media contact: Sarah Hetherington - 0409 405 639