Author Topic: Union concerned about shearers mistreating sheep.  (Read 698 times)

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Union concerned about shearers mistreating sheep.
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2013, 10:29:02 PM »
The Australian Workers Union (AWU) is calling on wool industry and farmer groups to stamp out the mistreatment of sheep by shearers.

The AWU's national pastoral industry co-ordinator, Sam Beechey, says while most shearers do the right thing, a small group of shearers are increasingly taking their frustration out on the animals.

  Sheep height=227  Photo: The AWU is concerned sheep are being mistreated by shearers. (Kath Sullivan)   

He says he's seen shearers gouge eyes and break sheep jaws.

"I have seen that. I think it's a disgrace, it's an absolute disgrace.

"But without condoning that sort of action, the employer, the shearing contractor or the owner won't take action against it.

"I have only seen and heard of one person being sacked from a shearing shed for mistreating a sheep," he said.

Jim Murray, from industry body Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), says animal welfare is a priority of all shearer training.

"If there is an issue there (with shearers mistreating sheep), I'd say it's actually declining rather than increasing. And the reason I say that is that over the years the investment that AWI puts into training, one of the
highest focal points that we have with the training is animal welfare," he said.

ABC Rural  Kath Sullivan