Farmers group sees sheep shearing at Olympics

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WELLINGTON , New Zealand (AP) -- A New Zealand farming lobby group says sheep shearing has the potential to become an Olympic demonstration sport and the "time has come to elevate shearing's sporting status to the ultimate world stage."

New Zealand produces some of the world's best shearers and its national championship, the Golden Shears, receives substantial local media coverage.

New Zealand Federated Farmers said Monday that the world's top shearers were "athletes who take it to another level."

New Zealand will host the world shearing championships in March and Federated Farmers Meat and Fiber chairwoman Jeannette Maxwell said it was an appropriate time for the sport to press for wider international recognition.