The effort in Australia to breed sheep that do not need to be mulesed has gotten a lot simpler. By using what is known as sheep breeding values, breeders will be able to produce sheep that have a natural resistance to flystrike.
The wool industry is particularly keen to get the message to the world that it is doing something about the controversial issue of mulesing.
Genetics is seen as the only long-term solution to mulesing and it has been used in other livestock industries like pigs and dairy for years. Now sheep breeders can get the same benefits.
Breeders have been selecting for fleece color and low-micron characteristics and now they have a tool to make the selection process better. They can find desirable traits, like less wrinkly backsides, which research shows reduces the likelihood of flystrike.
Reprinted in part from ABC Australia