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Declaration Rates

Dark Medullated Fibre Risk (DMFR) Scheme Adoption

The International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO), through its Australian affiliate, the Federation of Australian Wool Organisations (FAWO) promotes a program to protect the reputation of Australia's premium Merino white wool by managing the risk of dark and/or medullated fibre contamination. The program operates through voluntary declarations made by wool growers through the classers specification that accompanies wool deliveries to seelling agents stores and brokers warehouses. This information is forwarded to AWTA who then calculate the risk rating and report in on the Yield & Micron test certificate. The DMFR rating is then displayed in sale catalogues so that buyers can make informed purchases.

Risk Rating Calculation

The aim of this program is to:

  • Enable Australia's white wool growers to promote their wool as such to buyers
  • Provide buyers and processors with a reliable and quantified measure of the level of dark and/or medullated fibre risk in sale lots. This includes contamination of white wool from traditional naturally occurring pigmentation, stains and from the new source, i.e. from contact with exotic breeds

This is achieved by assigning a Dark & Medullated Risk Rating from 1 (best) to 6 (worst) to sale lots, with ratings 1 and 2 suitable for white or pastel shade end products. This is done according to the following diagram.

DMFR Scheme

More information on the DMFR scheme is available below.

Briefing: DMFR SchemePDF

Industry Views: DMFR - See What The Mills SayPDF

Adoption Rate

The DMFR adoption rate is simply defined as the proportion of tested sale lots that have DMFR data declared by the wool grower. A graph of the DMFR adoption rate, comparing the current and previous season's data is shown below.

DMFR Levels 2020 21


Risk Level Mix

The DMFR Risk Level Mix shows the relative proportion of each risk level in the overall declaration rate. The DMFR Risk Level Mix for the most recent wool selling season is shown below.

DMFR Dec Rates 2020 21


Mulesing Status

In July 2008 the Australian wool industry introduced a National Wool Declaration (NWD) scheme. This scheme allows wool growers to declare the Mulesing Status of wool to be tested by AWTA.  That category is then displayed on AWTA Test Certificates and in wool auction catalogues.

The Mulesing Status indicates whether wool is produced by mulesed or non-mulesed sheep and, if sheep have been mulesed, whether an analgesic was used to provide pain relief at the time of mulesing. Woolgrowers with sheep that were previously mulesed may also declare that they have since ceased the practice of mulesing.


Mulesing Status Statistics

AWTA Ltd and the Australian Wool Exchange Ltd (AWEX) jointly publish monthly statistics which report the volume of wool both tested and auctioned under the various Mulesing Status categories. These graphs are available on the following link:


Further information regarding Mulesing Status Declarations on AWTA Test Certificates is available here:

Mulesing Status on AWTA CertificatesPDF

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