Our Animal Welfare Standard
In contrast to standard industry practice, our merino sheep are only shorn once a year, and to a minimum length of 10mm. Doing so drastically reduces the risk of injuring the sheep and leaves the sheep with an ideal amount of wool to protect them from the sun or from cold temperatures. Rather than only getting paid for what they produce, Zue Anna shearers are rewarded for how well they care for the animals, earning a bonus if the flock remains without injuries.More
Mulesing is a common practice in the merino wool industry where pieces of wool-bearing skin around the tail are removed without the use of any anesthetics, a practice that is extremely painful for the animal. Our sheep have very few wrinkles on their skin, combined with attentive care and a balanced diet a natural protection against fireflies.
No Tail Docking
The tail keeps flies away. In fact, the tail provides an important defense against parasites and, because of their balanced diet, our sheep naturally produce solid excrements, which keeps their wool clean and reduces the risk of infection in this area.
Sheep naturally have horns, but they are often burned or cut off. Instead we snip off the tips of the horns while they are still soft and not attached to any blood vessels, a completely painless procedure comparable to cutting your fingernails. The horns continue to develop normally, but without the sharp tip it is much less dangerous and less likely the sheep will hurt each other while playing.
Our sheep are tracked with a microchip in the stomach that they simply swallow with a feeding tube. Our long-term goal is to chip our sheep the same way that dogs and cats are tracked in Germany, but this identification system is not yet allowed for use on livestock in Australia. We will continue to work towards that goal and keep you updated on our progress.
Plenty of Space
Young sheep and lambs need sufficient space to play and fully grown sheep enjoy having the freedom to move around in search of the greenest pastures. That’s why our sheep don’t just have the 1m² per animal that is required by European law, they can move about freely with more than 100m² per animal.
No Chemical Baths
A proper diet and the specific characteristics of our breed combine to protect our sheep against parasites without the use of pesticides. The climate in New South Wales also favors a very low parasite level.
With treatable illnesses we will do everything immediately in our power to provide the animal with the best possible medical care until it is healthy again and any surgical procedures will be performed exclusively under local or general anesthesia.
We show our thanks not only by providing attentive care and the best medical supervision possible, but also by ensuring that the animals can enjoy their remaining years after the end of their career in wool production. With every sale we set aside a portion of the proceeds towards our pension fund so that our animals can be spared from the slaughterhouse and enjoy their well-earned retirement in peace.