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Grower Accreditation Criteria

Section 4: Sheep Preparation

4.1 Dags & Urine Stain


Sheep must be presented for shearing free of dags and urine stained wool. To achieve this, a range of husbandry options may be adopted, including:

  • Crutching (and in the case of wethers, pizzling) within the three months before shearing

And/or ...

  • Dagging about two weeks before shearing. (Dagging any closer than seven days before shearing is not recommended, as any pen stain which occurs during dagging may not have enough time to clear.)

Other options may be acceptable, provided they result in the sheep being presented for shearing free of dags and urine stain.

4.2 Pen Stain (Shed Stain)

To reduce the likelihood of pen stain, all sheep need to be held in an area with no feed available and sufficient space to prevent them rubbing against each other while they empty. The time it takes for sheep to empty will depend on the sort of feed they have been grazing.


Where sheep become pen stained, the stained wool must be kept separate and described for sale purposes as “pen stained wool”.

4.3 Dry Wool


Sheep must be dry at time of shearing.

4.4 Drafting To Separate Mobs


Sheep must be shorn in mobs based on similar wool type.

4.4.1 Breed


Sheep of different breeds should be separated before shearing and their wool kept separate.

4.4.2 Age


Lambs, hoggets and adult sheep must be shorn as separate mobs.

4.4.3 Sex


Ewes and wethers must be shorn as separate mobs to reduce the possibility of urine stain downgrading all belly wool.

4.4.4 Wool Length


Separate sheep that have been previously shorn at different times must be shorn as separate mobs.

Note: Differing wool lengths are likely to occur if some sheep have been bought in.

4.5 Black & Coloured Animals

Dark animal fibres can greatly reduce the value of a line of wool. Every effort needs to be made to ensure that fleeces do not come in contact with fibres, especially at shearing.


Accredited growers should not farm or shear black, coloured or black-faced sheep, goats and camelids on their property. This is particularly important in the case of Merinos, because of the extremely negative impact of black fibres in the manufacture of fine apparel.


If black, coloured and black-faced animals are farmed they must not be shorn at the same shearing as white sheep.

If black, coloured or black-faced animals are shorn, all white wool must first be thoroughly cleared away from the shearing board (and wool room if necessary).

After shearing, the shearing board (and wool room if necessary) must be thoroughly cleaned and the black or coloured wool immediately packed up, clearly identified and removed from the shearing board and wool room area.

4.5.1 Sheep With Black Spots


All shearers must be instructed to advise the wool handler of black wool when sheep with black spots are shorn. The black wool must be removed immediately from the fleece and placed in the black wool container. The shearer must also mark the sheep and advise the grower.

Section 5 – Standards and Records


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