Animal Welfare

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Animal welfare is at the heart of every wool grower’s farm. Around the world, wool farmers apply the best available animal husbandry practices to ensure the health of their flocks. Wool growers are dedicated to the job of looking after their animals and keeping them healthy, to ensure the wool maintains the right qualities for the textile industry.

The proactive approach of wool growers in caring for their animals provides uncompromising welfare standards for sheep across the world. 

The Wool Industry's Commitment

The global wool industry is committed to the highest standards of sheep care and well-being. Wool is increasingly seen by consumers as a sustainable lifestyle choice for fashion and interior textiles. Transparency in each step of the wool textile pipeline is essential, and it begins on farm.

IWTO Specifications for Wool Sheep Welfare

These Specifications for Wool Sheep Welfare were developed by the wool growing country members of IWTO. Premised on the "Five Freedoms" of the OIE's Terrestrial Animal Health Code, the Specifications reflect the diversity of wool production systems as well as the national legislative animal welfare frameworks of each wool growing country.

Each wool growing country has its own legally binding animal welfare legislation. Best practice is defined within each country based on country-specific production systems and the wool sheep breeds of each country as well as universal principles of ethical wool production.

The IWTO Specifications for Wool Sheep Welfare provide concise guidance on best practices for wool sheep husbandry, along with the national animal welfare laws of each of the main wool growing countries, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States and Uruguay.

In addition, the document contains an overview of the global wool sheep industry and a description of legislative frameworks governing wool production.

Wool textile professionals, CSR managers, retailers and consumers alike will find this document an accessible resource. 

Click here to view and download the IWTO Specifications for Wool Sheep Welfare.