Australia’s sheep left without shearers as Covid halts travel from New Zealand

Nation is facing shortage of shearers for its 68 million sheep as hundreds are barred from taking their usual trip across the Tasman Sea

It’s a tradition that stretches back decades. Every year, hundreds of New Zealanders fly in to Australia for the spring shearing season – a huge mobilisation of workers essential to the success of the nation’s wool industry.

In dusty sheds on outback farms they join up with local shearers and, between them, relieve five million sheep of their fleeces over eight weeks.

Related: ‘They didn’t close the deal’: New Zealand looks on in horror at Melbourne Covid-19 crisis

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