A bill that mandates pain relief for mulesing and would eventually ban the practice entirely in NSW has been sent to an inquiry for consideration.
The inquiry will allow the public to comment on the bill, which AJP MP for NSW, Mark Pearson, has encouraged the community to do.
“Getting this bill sent to an inquiry is a victory for the six million lambs in NSW alone who are mulesed without pain relief every year,” Mr Pearson said.
“We now have the opportunity to show the government how the community feels about the horrific practice of mulesing.”
Mulesing is an invasive procedure which removes a strip of wool-bearing skin around a sheep’s buttocks to prevent flystrike.
An Upper House committee will conduct an inquiry into the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Amendment (Restrictions on Stock Animals Procedures) Bill 2019 put forward by Mark Pearson MLC of the Animal Justice Party last year.
At the time, the bill did not receive sufficient votes to pass into law.
In June, Mr Pearson returned to the chamber with a new motion: to send the bill to the relevant committee for an inquiry, allowing evidence of the importance of the bill to be scrutinised. The motion was agreed to, 21 votes to 20.
The public has until July 31 to comment on the legislative amendments that could prohibit mulesing by 2023 and make pain relief compulsory for other procedures, including castration, dehorning, and tail docking.
On July 1, 2020, Victorian farmers became the first in in the country legally required to use pain relief when mulesing their lambs.
“The industry has known for decades that mulesing won’t be tolerated, since the first federal standing committee of animal welfare,” Mr Pearson said.
“While our focus is the wellbeing of the lambs who undergo mulesing, it’s also in the interest of woolgrowers to have some certainty from the government about where mulesing is going.”
The public can comment on the bill here:
Anyone, anywhere, can submit a survey response.