Responsible Mohair Standards (RMS)
The House of Fibre is following Mohair South Africa lead in their commitment to addressing the sustainable health and welfare of Angora goats and the land on which they graze on. To adhere to the principles of Angora goat welfare, The House of Fibre is driving the initiative of the Responsible Mohair Standards (RMS) in South Africa. The RMS is a global standard created by the Textile Exchange to specifically provide the guidelines and practices that ensure mohair is produced in a sustainable and ethical manner. These guidelines will ensure a secure future for the natural fibre industry. The RMS has been further developed from the base of the existing Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) created by the Textile Exchange. Stakeholders from the natural fibre industry, consumers, producers, growers and scientist came together in Australia to develop the RWS standards. The underlying purpose of RMS is to serve as a guideline for farmers on three areas namely Animal Welfare, Land Management, Social Responsibility.
To ensure the sustainability of the industry, benchmarks have been set down against, to which the farm is measured. To further ensure the sustainability of RMS, an independent audit is conducted on the farm by a third party. RMS requires the grower (farmer) to record day-to-day activities of what is being done on the farm. Animal health and land management relate to the 5 basic animal freedoms:
- thirst and food provision,
- provision of animal shelter and comfort,
- prevention of diseases and injuries,
- freedom from stress, and
- the ability to display normal patterns and behaviour.
Social responsibility is the education of everyone on the farm on how to treat the animal naturally and correctly without hurting them. Third-party auditor confirms that these do occur for the animals. When confirmed, it gives the industry the opportunity to recognize the best practice applied.
The videos below from Mohair South Africa provide an insight and understanding into the fundamental responsibility of handling and treatment of Angora goats. The videos can be used as training material to assist growers (farmers) with applying the RMS standard on their farm.
Please contact your mohair advisor for assistance on getting RMS certified.