Australian sheep producers are now on a level playing field with key international competitors, following the definition of lamb for exports now taking effect.
Minister for Agriculture, Senator Bridget McKenzie, said the change would support growth in Australia’s $1.9 billion lamb exports, with growers able to sell more lambs towards the end of the growing season
“From today, our farmers have a level playing field with our main competitor New Zealand when it comes to lamb exports,” Minister McKenzie said.
“Under the new definition, lamb will still be considered lamb when it has two permanent incisor teeth, as long as the teeth have not begun to wear.
“Previously, the presence of visible incisor teeth meant animals were downgraded to ‘hogget’ or mutton.
“The new definition helps to ensure farmers get a better return for their livestock, for longer.
“It also gives producers greater certainty and a clear warning as to when they need to get their lambs to market.
“Australia has some of the best agricultural produce in the world, and should share the lamb.
“It just makes sense that we should use the same definition as our competitors, with research to show that taste and quality is maintained.”
The new lamb definition is also consistent across all jurisdictions for domestic consumption.