The animal welfare issue of mulesing has been of interest to the supply chain since 2004 and the Australian sheep and wool industry has made a strategic commitment to develop and implement alternatives to mulesing. The Australian wool industry is leading the way in responding to changing global customer requirements and attitudes by supporting a fully informed market.

The function of the NWD is to enable wool growers to declare the Dark and Medullated Fibre Risk (DMFR) of their wool and their animal welfare practices (i.e. Mob Status) to wool exporters, processors and retailers. The NWD is the trusted declaration method for Australia.

Once an owner/manager has completed the NWD, the information is converted by the wool selling agent into a recognised DMFR rating and/or Mob Status (Mob and/or Property declaration) for inclusion in sale catalogues and test certificates.

NWD V10.0 October 2023 (release date 1 July 2024)

The 2023 NWD review involved extensive consultation and feedback with industry covering a broad list of topics, and AWEX appreciated the constructive comments and support received from organisations and individuals. 

The approved key changes to the NWD V10.0 are:

(a) The retention of LN in the NWD, using the current definition,

(b) The current definition (NWD V10.0) of CM be retained with the addition that eligibility for CM is defined within the NWD Definitions/Supporting Explanations viz. 

Ceased Mulesing (CM):

  • No lambs born on this property in the last 12 months have been mulesed^.
  • No mulesed^(or AA) ewes or wethers have been purchased in the last 12 months.

Note: For a property to be eligible for CM status, the answer to both CM property questions must be NO.

(c) The definition of NM be changed from "No sheep in this mob have been mulesed or treated with liquid nitrogen" to "Sheep in this mob have not been mulesed or treated with liquid nitrogen." 


Industry stakeholders developing documents or stationery must not change any of the definitions or supporting explanation in the NWD V10.0. This is to ensure consistency of the NWD and maximise the integrity of all Australian declarations, and to provide our customers with clarity on each NWD category enabling them to make informed purchasing decisions.

The NWD V10.0 will come into effect on 1 July 2024. However, all selling agents are encouraged to adopt NWD V10.0 as soon as they next print shearing stationery. 

The following documents are available to download:

The NWD V10.0 Forms:

Classer's Specification & NWD Landscape

Classer's Specification & NWD Portrait

Separate NWD without a Classer's Specification

NWD to be added to a broker's Specification Landscape

NWD to be added to a broker's Specification Portrait

Note, Microsoft Word versions are available and an individual Broker's logo can be added on request.  Please contact AWEX.

NWD V10.0 Brochures:

Declaring what the World's Demanding

How to Complete the NWD Correctly


Release Notes and Business Rules for Mulesing Status

For more information contact:

Kate Farquhar, AWEX Technical Projects and Integrity Manager, or (02) 9428 6100.