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Guidelines For Wool Sheep Welfare

22 July 2014

GLOBAL - Animal welfare and caring for the environment are increasingly important elements in areas relating to Corporate Social Responsibility, writes the International Wool Textile Organisation.

wool welfare guidelinesAnd with wool increasingly seen by caring consumers as a sustainable lifestyle choice for fashion and interiors, fashion and retail are now asking textile manufacturers ever more searching questions about provenance, origin and sustainability.

The IWTO said that the wool industry is committed to the highest standards of sheep care and well-being and supports scientific research in this area.

“Wool farmers are dedicated to the job of looking after their animals and keeping them healthy, to ensure the wool maintains the right qualities for the textile industry,” the organisation said.

“Farmers are always looking towards the best available animal husbandry practices to ensure good economic management of their business and optimum results in their produce.

“This proactive approach provides uncompromising welfare standards for sheep across the world.

“IWTO is the recognised global authority for manufacturing standards in the wool textile industry and the wool industry is fully aware that it is working in an area where sustainable practices need to be transparent at all stages in the pipeline. Animal welfare is very much a part of this process.”

The IWTO Guidelines to Wool Sheep Welfare are based on the universally recognised five freedoms.

While specifically relevant to the global wool sheep production industry, these good welfare practices are closely aligned with the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code.

The objective of the guidelines is to define clearly and promote animal welfare practices in wool production widely, relevant to the wide diversity of production environments around the globe.

The document has been developed through a consultative process involving representatives of individual grower countries and technical internal and external experts in the fields of animal welfare and veterinary science, through the IWTO Sustainable Practices Working Group.

The guidelines will be of significant assistance to spinners and weavers working closely with downstream manufacturers in the global market.

“IWTO’s intent is that these guidelines provide a ready resource for anyone interested in the applicable standards for wool sheep production globally, and for those interested in development or refinement of individual country codes. It will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis,” the IWTO said.

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