BioClip procedure in spotlight

15 Sep, 2004 10:00 PM
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THE advantages of natural wool harvesting were promoted at the eastern districts Merino breeders field day last week where BioClip representative Anthony Shepherd gave an detailed demonstration of the procedures.

During the display, nets were removed and Mr Shepherd provided a detailed explanation of the BioClip procedure.

Lambs that had already been given a subcutaneous injection of EGF (epidermal growth factor) and had the wool harvesting nets on for four weeks, were on display.

Mr Shepherd used them to demonstrate the removal of the nets and the end result in comparison to shearing.

After an injection of EGF, it only takes 48 hours for the wool to part from the skin of the sheep.

Mr Shepherd said this has been the cause of major concern for producers due to the sheep almost being completely bald, which could leave them exposed to harsh conditions after shedding their wool.

"Because the sheep would be exposed to harsh conditions, the net is left on for a certain period to enable a suitable amount of re-growth for protection," he said.

"The fleece removal is very simple and comes off like a jumper, and it is condensed which means that very little wool is lost in the procedure."

Other benefits include the lack of skin pieces on the fleece. Skin pieces in shorn fleeces can devalue a good bale due to contamination.

And because there are no shears involved in natural wool harvesting this negative aspect is removed.

In China up to 350 people are employed to remove skin pieces from wool making it a desirable claim to have skin piece free wool.

The sheep also come out in top condition. There are no cuts or flies to allow for infection and one of the biggest positives is that there is no teat cutting of the ewes which has proved to be a big problem during shearing.

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