Making More from Sheep Australian Wool Innovation Limited Meat & Livestock Australia
MODULE 2: Market Focused Wool Production
Tool 2.3
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A voluntary dark and medullated fibre risk (DMFR) scheme was introduced for Merino fleece and piece wool in July 2004 initiated by the Australian Council of Wool Exporters. It provides a rating of the risk of dark and medullated fibre contamination recorded on Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA) test certificates and in sale catalogues. This program is promoted by some brokers and it is expected that market forces will show premiums for the declared clean wools.

The DMFR Scheme allows:

  • Wool producers to promote their clips as white and uncontaminated
  • Wool buyers and processors to minimise the risk of buying contaminated wool
  • Better analysis of price differences for wools with various contamination risks
  • Protection and advancement of Australia’s woolclip reputation as white and noncontaminated.

Merino sheep producers have the option of supplying DMFR information for all, some, or none of their fleece and piece lines.

Non declared wools will be branded “ND” in the Auction catalogue, indicating to buyers that there is some risk associated with these wools.

The diagram (below) shows how the DMFR rating for your wool is determined:

To enable woolgrowers wishing to promote to downstream users the evolving changes in their animal welfare proceedures, there is a need for a standardised declaration method. This is the function of the National Wool Declaration (NWD).

Once a woolgrower has completed the NWD, the contents are converted by the wool handling agent into a Mulesing Status Code for inclusion in the sale catalogue. The NWD has now been combined with the Classer’s Specification. For more information on the NWD, see the AWEX website at

Download a copy of the National Wool Declaration