BEST PRACTICE PRINCIPLES FOR WOOL SHEEP
At the request of IWTO’s membership, in 2013 the main wool growing countries developed the IWTO Guidelines for Wool Sheep Welfare, which have since evolved to the recently released IWTO Specifications for Wool Sheep Welfare.
Based on the universally recognised Five Freedoms of animal welfare embodied in the OIE’s Terrestrial Animal Health Code, the IWTO Specifications provide a concise guide to best practice principles for wool sheep production around the world.
The Specifications respect the vast diversity of sheep production environments – which vary from extensive rangelands to intensively housed systems; additionally, the document describes the legislative frameworks that protect animal welfare in each wool producing country.
Each wool producing country – Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, United States, and Uruguay – has a set of animal welfare laws which wool growers are bound to uphold, and a corresponding set of best practice regulations to guide animal husbandry practices. These animal husbandry management tools are highly specific to production system, environment, and sheep breed.
There are five husbandry principles that meet the physiological and behavioural need of sheep:
Read more about each principle and how it applies in practice in wool production: view or downloading the IWTO Specifications for Wool Sheep Welfare.