Def­i­ni­tion of lamb gives some teeth to Kiwi bat­tle

Tasmanian Country - - NEWS -

FED­ERAL Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture David Lit­tleproud will change the def­i­ni­tion of lamb for ex­port pur­poses, match­ing the New Zealand def­i­ni­tion and re­mov­ing the edge Kiwi pro­duc­ers have en­joyed.

Pre­vi­ously, lamb was con­sid­ered to have grown into the less lu­cra­tive “hogget” or mut­ton as soon as in­cisor teeth were vis­i­ble, but in New Zealand lamb were still con­sid­ered lamb af­ter two teeth had popped through.

The Aus­tralian def­i­ni­tion had been de­bated for decades.

“Lamb will con­tinue to be called lamb when the an­i­mal has two per­ma­nent in­cisor teeth, so long as those teeth are new and have not be­gun to wear,” Mr Lit­tleproud said.

“Our ex­port def­i­ni­tion will now match New Zealand’s def­i­ni­tion and our own new AUS-MEAT def­i­ni­tion.

“Af­ter decades of dis­cus­sion, the time for talk was over. This is a sim­ple com­mon-sense change.

“This will mean our grow­ers can sell more lambs to­wards the end of the grow­ing sea­son and ex­pand their lamb ex­port op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“It will be easy for grow­ers to see when a lamb be­comes a sheep – when there is wear on the in­cisors.”

The change will re­quire amend­ment to the Ex­port Con­trol (Meat and Meat Prod­ucts) Or­ders 2005, to change the def­i­ni­tion of what con­sti­tutes lamb.

Re­search by Meat and Live­stock Aus­tralia found no dis­cernible dif­fer­ence in eat­ing qual­ity be­tween lambs im­me­di­ately prior to in­cisor teeth and im­me­di­ately af­ter­wards.

Lamb and mut­ton ex­ports were worth more than $2.6 bil­lion to the Aus­tralian econ­omy in 2016–2017, with lamb alone worth more than $1.9 bil­lion. vis­i­ble

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