Livestock SA supports the decision of Sheep Producers Australia to endorse a change in the industry definition of lamb so it aligns with the New Zealand definition.
Livestock SA President Joe Keynes said the organisation had endorsed the proposed change to the lamb definition, with the Sheep Producers Australia decision only made after whole-of-industry consultation over several months.
“We endorse Sheep Producers’ decision and are keen to work with industry to ensure implementation of the new definition rolls out easily,” he said.
“The results of the consultation phase showed that 83% of respondents to the industry survey supported the change.”
The new definition for lamb is now the same as the NZ Lamb and Mutton Carcass Classification: ‘Young sheep under 12 months of age or which do not have any permanent incisor teeth in wear’.
The previous definition for lamb was: ‘Meat derived from a female, castrated male, or entire male ovine animal that shows no evidence of eruption of permanent incisor teeth.’
“Livestock SA will work closely with all sectors to ensure the change is well understood and properly managed by those in the South Australian lamb and sheep industry value chain,” Mr Keynes said.
“We are keen to see that SA livestock producers and industry benefit as changes roll out to domestic and export markets.”
Mr Keynes said that it was important that the industry continued to seek opportunities to improve and should now strive to fully implement objective measurement and Meat Standards Australia (MSA) Standards for lamb.
“The implementation of more accurate measurements of meat quality in lamb remains important for ensuring the ongoing success of lamb in domestic and international markets,” he said.
“Producing lamb which adheres to these standards will ensure a more consistent, quality lamb product is enjoyed by consumers, all of which is important for ensuring a profitable and productive industry.”