May 12, 2006 -- A shearing device that could shave off some of the $44 million the wool industry spends on back injuries each year was demonstrated this week in Australia.
The Shearezy, an upright posture shearing platform, was designed to improve the occupational, health and safety record of the wool industry. It carries the sheep to the shearer on a conveyor and the wool is removed at waist high with the Shearezy rotating the sheep.
"What it means is that the shearer's back does not move out of 10 percent from vertical. It also means shearers do not have to catch the sheep and drag them out," said Joe Sullivan, project manager for Australia Wool Innovation.
There is still some way to go in the development of the new platform for shearing, he continued.
"It is not going to be equal to a gun shearer in terms of productivity. We are imposing a machine between the sheep and the shearer and that is going to limit the intuitive flow and shearing technique,? concluded Sullivan.
Using the standard method, a gun can shear up to 240 sheep a day but with Shearezy it is reduced to about 120.
Reprinted in part from Orange Central Western Daily, Australia