Yes, Numnuts is approved for use by organic lamb producers
Numnuts® is approved for use by Australian organic lamb producers. The animal welfare benefits provided by the use of anaesthetic during essential husbandry procedures mean that NumOcaine® and its active ingredient lidocaine have been approved by Australia’s leading organic certification body, ACO Certification Ltd.1
What’s more, lamb and wool products from flocks raised on approved Australian organic farms can be exported to countries including the US and South Korea, where lidocaine is also accepted by organic certification bodies.
This is a major tick for improved animal welfare during lamb marking on organic farms.
Here's how it works
For sheep products to be certified as organic, the animals must have been managed on farm from the last trimester of their gestation to the day of shearing or slaughter. This means that:
- The ewes must also have been on the farm during pregnancy, and
- Lamb marking procedures at 8-12 weeks must have been conducted in line with the National Standards.
In Australia, the National Standards2 for organic produce allow the use of anaesthetics for essential procedures. This is where the animal welfare benefits of pain relief for lambs far outweigh any concern that the medication is synthetically produced – and there is no ‘natural’ alternative.
How was NumOcaine approved in Australia?
The ACO reviewed NumOcaine® by gathering relevant details, including product inputs, to ensure that it aligned with various standards on medications. With no concerns found, NumOcaine® was deemed compliant for two years. At the end of this period, compliance will be re-confirmed for a further two years, providing there has been no change to the formulation.
The certification of NumOcaine® confirms that it is has been produced to high standards, and can be safely stored before being used in the humane Numnuts® device.
Does NumOcaine affect organic meat exports?
The certification of NumOcaine® helps to protect valuable supply chains for organic farmers. Australian producers using our product can still export organic lamb and wool products to countries including the US and South Korea.
These territories have their own standards, but also approve lidocaine anaesthetics for animal husbandry procedures. Both have approved NumOcaine® for use in certified organic produce entering the country.
Kaloola Case Study
Organic meat labelling is also important
Increasingly, the labelling of organic meat exported to the US is under scrutiny. It is now expected to meet the standards of the Global Animal Partnership (GAP), one of the largest animal welfare food labeling programs in North America.
GAP has its own requirements on castration and tail docking, stating that the producer can only mark lambs up to 8 weeks old. Clearly, that can be an obstacle for Aussie producers, who manage extremely large farms and work around extreme weather conditions.
Fortunately, there are some exemptions for Australian producers exporting premium meat via organic meat supply companies. Under these amendments, certified producers may mark lambs up to 12 weeks old, but only if pain relief is provided.
Numnuts and organic farming...
It’s great to hear that Numnuts® is helping producers provide first class animal welfare for their lambs.
Read more about one of our customers, Kaloola Station, and their experience converting to organic farming in this new case study here.