- The Australian Meat Industry Language and Standards Committee approved the change to lamb and cream definitions in the AUS-MEAT Language.
- The current members of the committee include the Agriculture Department, the Australian Meat Industries Council, Australian Sheep Producers, the Australian Cattle Council, the Australian Lot Food Association, Australian Pork Limited and Australian Supermarkets / Independent Retailers.
- Exports of lamb and turban were worth more than $ 2.6 billion to the Australian economy in 2016-17, with only lamb worth more than $ 1.9 billion.
Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud will change the definition of lamb for export purposes, in line with New Zealand definition and eliminate the unfair advantage of NZ producers for our farmers.
Previously, the lambs were considered to have grown into the "hogget" or less experienced maize as soon as incisor teeth were visible – but in NZ, lamb still considered lamb after it two teeth turned. The issue of the Australian definition had been discussed for decades.
"Lamb will continue to be called when the animal has two permanent teeth, as long as those teeth are new and they have not started to wear," said Littleproud Minister.
"Our export definition will now match the definition of New Zealand and the new definition AUS-MEAT.
"After decades of discussion, there was time to talk over. This changes a simple common sense.
"This will mean that our growers can sell more lambs towards the end of the season growing and expanding their lamb export opportunities.
"It will be easy for growers to see when lambs become sheep – when there are visual costumes on the incisors."
Changing the Export Control Orders (Meat and Meat Products) Regulations 2005 will need to change, to change the definition of lamb.
Research by Australian Livestock and Livestock had not found any obvious difference in eating quality between the lambs immediately before the tooth teeth and immediately after that.
/ Public Declaration. See full here.