The animal welfare issue of mulesing has been topical since 2004. Since this time, the Australian sheep and wool industry has made a strategic commitment to develop and implement alternatives to mulesing. While this goal is a major challenge, the Australian Wool industry is leading the way in responding to changing global customer requirements and attitudes.

The function of the National Wool Declaration (NWD) is to enable woolgrowers to promote their animal welfare practices (i.e. Mulesing Status) and the Dark and Medullated Fibre Risk (DMFR) of their wool to wool exporters, processors and retailers. The NWD is the standardised declaration method for Australia. It is applicable to all breeds of sheep.

Once a woolgrower has completed the NWD, the contents are converted by the wool handling agent into a recognised Mulesing Status and/or DMFR code for inclusion in sale catalogues and test certificates. 

NWD March 2020 Version 8.0: This version contains the following recommendations/changes:

  • The definition of mulesing/mulesed (M) and the definition of Non Mulesed (NM) remain unchanged.
  • Ceased Mulesing (CM) has been reformatted to include two questions to improve clarity and reduce errors. The definition of CM is unchanged, viz. No lambs born on this property in the last 12 months have been mulesed. No mulesed^(or mulesed with AA) ewes/wethers have been purchased.
  • The NWD Mulesing Status code of mulesed with Pain Relief (PR) has been changed to mulesed with an Analgesic &/or Anaesthetic product(s) (AA). The pre- and/or post-Analgesic &/or Anaesthetic product(s) used at mulesing must be registered by APVMA for use on sheep.
  • Mob Mulesing Status asks that one of the three answers is circled: NM (Non Mulesed), AA(mulesed with Analgesic &/or Anaesthetic) or M (mulsed).
  • At this point in time, the use of Sheep Freeze Branding may be declared as NM. AWEX is seeking further information on the Animal Welfare trials being undertaken on this procedure to allow an informed decision to be made. The next review will be conducted when the trials are complete or in 12 months, whichever is sooner.
  • Owners/Managers are strongly encouraged to complete the Property Identification Number (PIC). The PIC is required for the NWD - Integrity Program as well as traceability related to potential exotic animal disease outbreak(s). If more than one PIC is used, space is available to record this against each mob in the NWD section of the Classer's Specification.

Download the NWD and Save to your Computer

Brokers updating to Version 8.0 should ensure that both the NWD and the accompanying notes are carefully reviewed.

The documents below are in PDF format. To correctly visualise the forms, either print the document or zoom to 200-300%. Note, MS Word versions are available and an individual Brokers's logo can be added to the Word version on request. For more information contact: Kerry Hansford,  AWEX Quality & Project Manager, or (03) 9318 0277.

Combined Classer's Specification and NWD. (the NWD Definitions, Instructions and Codes are on the 2nd page).

AWEX NWD Version 8.0 March 2020 Landscape

AWEX NWD Version 8.0 March 2020 Portrait

Separate NWD for use with an "old" Classer's Specification or a Classer's Specification without a NWD. The NWD Definitions, Instructions and Codes are included on this single page. 

AWEX NWD Version 8.0 March 2020 Separate

Additional information related to the NWD:

AWEX NWD-IP Brochure, August 2020

AWEX How to Complete the NWD Correctly, August 2020 

AWEX NWD Frequently Asked Questions, August 2020

NWD V8.0 Release Notes and Business Rules Issue 5 – 11th May 2020

Compared to the previous version, NWD V8.0 Release Notes and Business Rules for Mulesing Status Issue 5 – 11th May 2020, the main modifications are:

  • The responsibilities for the NWD have been expanded in detail, especially as it relates to the completion of the NWD and the supply of contact information for the conduct of the NWD – Integrity Program (see Section 5).
  • CM is not a valid Mob Mulesing Status. Only NM, AA or M should be declared for the Mob Mulesing Status (see Section 4).
  • The Minimum requirements for a Valid declaration have been clarified (see Section 10).
  • Where a Brand is declared as being eligible for Ceased Mulesing Status, but no Mob Mulesing Status responses are recorded, the Sale Lot Mulesing Status shall be [ND] (see Sections 8 [ND], 12 (g) iii and 16).