Avington Merino, VIC

Committed to using ethical farming practices to produce merino wool of the highest standard.

Avington Merino

Owner: Noel Henderson

Location: Kyneton, Victoria

Property size: 2,000 Hectares

Climate: Predominantly winter rainfall

Rainfall: Region averaging 680 mm per year

Vegetation: Creek flats going into Yellow Box grassy woodland

Sheep Flock: Self-replacing non-mulesed Merinos

Wool: Avington Superfine with a micron range of 15.0 – 17.0, and Avington Extra Ultrafine with a micron range of 11.0 – 13.5

Website: avingtonmerino.com

Numnuts at Avington

The management team at Avington pride themselves on their first class animal welfare standards. When first hearing of the development of Numnuts (before it was commercially available) Avington conducted its own small trial using local anaesthetic, under the guidance of a local consulting vet. An Avington staff member gave each wether lamb an anaesthetic injection using an individual syringe prior to ringing. This trial was slow and expensive, but it clearly demonstrated to the Avington team the possible great outcomes of adopting local anaesthetic with ring castration.

When Numnuts hit the market in 2019, Avington was the first commercial farm to jump onboard the new system for lamb marking. Numnuts allows Avington farm manager Kyle Cordy and his team to provide best practice, targeted pain relief, safely and quickly at a large scale.

Avington was the first property in Australia to be recognised by the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) for their high level of animal welfare. RWS expects that pain relief is used for all painful husbandry procedures.

 

“…there is a shift in generations, there is a demand coming from the retail customer who is prepared to look at a swing tag and ask the question; ‘tell me about the ethical production of this wool’… this is where change will be driven, and it is happening fast.”

Noel Henderson – Owner

“We used to use a gas knife [for the tail], it was hard — you had to educate the people who were using it really well, and obviously there is the burn risk involved, so [moving to Numnuts] is a safety thing for us and animal welfare, as we’re trying to stay in front as best we can.”

Kyle Cordy – Farm Manager

No More Hot Knife

Using rings in conjunction with NumOcaine local aneasthic has allowed Avington to make their lamb marking cradle 'blood free', something that is an important part of keeping the image of wool as an ethical, sustainable material.

Noel Henderson explains how the burn risk and saftey issues with using a hot knife in their undercover yards was a concern to him. Now the constant roar of the gas knife is swiched off and his staff don't have to deal with the smell of burnt wool and flesh during their lamb marking.

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