South Africa is a vast and beautiful country with a rich history of sheep and wool farming. This long history has established woolgrowers who have a keen appreciation of how to care for their animals and the environment. As a result, the industry consistently generates a high quality, environmentally sound product for international markets.
The first Merino sheep arrived at the Cape in 1789, and the sheep and wool industry on a commercial basis was soon established. During the whole of its colonial period, the Cape province remained the most important wool producing area in Southern Africa and although the sheep industry subsequently spread rapidly throughout virtually the whole of the country, 'Cape Wool' has become the international generic trade term for all wool produced on the sub-continent.
What is mulesing: Mulesing involves the removal of strips of wool-bearing skin from around the breech (buttocks) of a sheep to prevent fly strike
What is Flystrike:
Parasitic infestation of the body of a live mammal by fly larvea that grow inside the host while feeding on its tissue.
Steps taken in South Africa to prevent Mulesing
• The South African Merino has, over the years, been bred for less skin folds
• The average flock size in South Africa is considerably smaller than in Australia. Consequently, the South African woolgrower can give much more individual attention to his flock and take preventative steps to avoid flystrike.
• Sheep are sheared more often, which eliminates wool growth in the area where blowfly lay their eggs
• Localised application of pesticide to the breech area to kill the blowfly is standard practice. These products are all registered in terms of appropriate legislation
• The largest proportion of the South African wool clip is from harsh, low-rainfall areas (for example the Karoo) where blowfly does not exist
• Making use of environmentally friendly Luci traps to eliminate blowfly
Read more about Cape Wool's code of conduct here in this pdf download