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KANGAROO ISLAND – Australian authorities are leading new trials through which sterile blowflies will be released onto a remote island off the country’s south coast in their droves with the view to eliminating the disease-ridden variety that causes infection in sheep.  

Should the trials be successful, controversial breech modification techniques like mulesing might not be required, putting an end to long-running debates regarding their animal welfare implications. 

Dr Maarten van Helden, a research scientist in entomology at the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) said: “The long-term goal will be to use the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) for sheep blowfly on the mainland. The selection of area etc for any future projects will depend on the outcomes of this project, including research on blowfly dynamics, mobility and longevity.” 

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