Net profit from Oz auto-shearer

28 June 2002

Net profit from Oz auto-shearer

A DEVELOPMENT from Australia which has attracted interest in the UK national press could signal the end of manual shearing for many producers.

With the technique, sheep are injected with a natural protein and encased with a net. The fleece then falls off four weeks later and is caught in the net, to be collected by the shepherd later. The product will be launched commercially in Australia later this year and is expected to cost £1.40/sheep, including the protein injection and net.

But there are doubts about the suitability of the product for the UK market, says Liz Ambler, British Wool Marketing Board

"This product is not new, however, we do not feel it will lend itself to UK sheep breeds."

It seems likely to be an expensive procedure and not suitable for the UK, especially when the value of wool is considered, believes Ms Ambler.

"With low wool prices there is little value in experimenting with new procedures and the cost of this technique is likely to be prohibitive." &#42

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