A Victorian Animal Justice member of parliament has made the outlandish claim that 15 million lambs perish annually from freezing weather conditions. The statement is outlandish and untrue.
The culprit, Andy Meddick, an Upper House member for Western Victoria, should be brought to account and withdraw his statement.
His comment is statistically impossible. Meat and Livestock believe that currently, there are 40 million breeding ewes in Australia, of which the majority are Merinos. Merinos have a lambing percentage average of 92 per cent and crossbreds and others have a 109 per cent average lambing rate. Some flocks achieve lambs-marked figures well over these averages.
Meddick's claim that 15 million lambs perish results in a 74 per cent lambing rate.
Yes, lambs do die due to cold and under extreme conditions this can be as high as seven per cent, a long haul from Meddick's 26 per cent.
To add insult to injury, Mr Meddick said shade and shelter must be made mandatory:David Everist
Mr Meddick's mentality is shown by his comment that: "If you've ever been lucky enough to meet a lamb, you'd know that they are each individuals with their own personalities, deserving of kindness and safety". This paints a picture of Mr Meddick driving around the Western Districts jumping fences to talk to lambs.
To add insult to injury, Mr Meddick said shade and shelter must be made mandatory: "It's the least we can do for them".
No doubt, Mr Meddick is right at the forefront of global warming alarmism; however this may be just what sheep breeders need to fend off freezing cold.
A Professor of Dryland Ecology at the University of NSW claims that the native Australian echidna may hold part of the solution. To replenish depleted nutrients and organic matter, including carbon, Echidnas dig pits, furrows and depressions in the soil while foraging for ants.
Research has revealed the significant extent to which this soil "engineering" could benefit the environment.
The professor contends that after 200 years of European farming practices, our soils are in poor shape: "Echidnas' digging traps, leaves and seeds in soil.
This helps improve soil health, promotes plant growth and keeps carbon in the soil, rather than the atmosphere".
He said that the importance of this process could not be underestimated. By improving echidna habitat, we can significantly improve soil health and boost climate action efforts.
In Australia, he said, most of our digging animals are either extinct, restricted or threatened. But not so the echidna, which is still relatively common in most habitats across large areas of the continent.
One wonders why scarce research dollars are being spent on measuring wheelbarrows of dirt on a research project that only has application in arid areas. However, it is a break from measuring water capacity of swimming pools and Sydney harbour.