SHEEP Producers Australia has endorsed a change in the industry definition of lamb to be the same as the New Zealand definition, based on a formal, industry-wide call for feedback.
The new definition, as outlined in the New Zealand Lamb and Mutton Carcass Classification, is “young sheep under 12 months of age or which do not have any permanent incisor teeth in wear”.
This decision was based on the majority of feedback provided during a nine week public consultation phase in which 83pc of respondents to an industry survey supported the change.
SPA president Allan Piggot said in addition to industry feedback, the board also relied on science and data in endorsing the change to a uniform industry position on the lamb definition.
“The SPA Board has endorsed an evidence-based policy position that reflects what the majority of Australian sheep producers want as a result of an in-depth and transparent public consultation process,” he said.
“The new definition will even the playing field against New Zealand in our export markets and provide producers with an indicator before they incur the ‘price cliff face’ of lamb being downgraded to hogget or mutton.”