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The NEW Better Choices is an audited welfare program that woolgrowers who follow an integrated, planned approach to achieve best-practice welfare for husbandry procedures in sheep.
The demand for ethically produced products by manufacturers is ever increasing and the Better Choices program works to assure consumers, suppliers and retailers that their meat and fibre products originated from farms that follow humane production methods for Australian sheep and livestock.
Conming soon: Latest Press Release!
International Support for Better Choices
International support for Better Choices has grown signigicantly in recent years.
National Retail Federation and US apparel retailers.
In May 2007 The National Retail Federation (NRF) and US apparel retailers said they “are very pleased with the progress that the Australian wool industry is making to implement the commitments on the phase-out of mulesing”, NRF Vice-President and International Trade Counsel Erik Autor said.
“We also acknowledge progress on the development for the commercial market of new, efficacious, widely available and easily administered analgesics in fulfilment of Point 6 of the Declaration of Commitments,” Autor said. “For example, we have been informed about Better Choices, a pain-relief auditing program for mulesing initiated by Bayer Healthcare Australia, and have shared that information with our members.
“Due to the actions undertaken so far by the Australian wool industry, we look forward with confidence to further progress on this issue,” Autor said.
Australia's leading rural newspaper The Land on 20 March 2008 quoted International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) president, Gunther Beier: "At the end of the day, it is absolutely essential for the Australians to understand they need to apply this pain-relieving method (Tri-Solfen) which, I think, would solve the problem at least in the interim. And if that were legislated, I think, that would go a long way towards resolving the concerns."
The use of pain relief is also a key element in the Declaration between PETA and the Australian Wool Innovation Board:
“… encourage the development, approval and use of products to provide relief from pain associated with mulesing.”
Auditing and certification of Better Choices
The Better Choices brand certifies wool to the market where
pain relief has been used.
To join the Better Choices Audited Welfare program woolgrowers must use pain relief on all the mulesed lambs on their property. Only then can they register their wool under the Better Choices program.
The Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) in October 2007 added to the industry-recognised list the Quality Scheme known as BETTER CHOICES relating to pain-free mulesing. Download a copy of the December 2007 Members' update or visit the AWEX website for the latest updates.
A certificate accompanies their wool under the Better Choices brand and assures both retailers and consumers that their animal welfare concerns regarding humane treatment of lambs are being addressed.