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The definition of ‘lamb’ is about to change

Article image for The definition of ‘lamb’ is about to change

From July 1st the definition of lamb in Australia will change.

Currently, a lamb is a sheep which doesn’t have any adult teeth.

Once a lamb gets its first permanent tooth, which usually happens between 10 and 14 months of age, it becomes a hogget and it’s value declines sharply.

Australian farmers have long lamented the classification, which they say puts them at a disadvantage compared to New Zealand lamb exporters.

In New Zealand, a sheep may still be classified as a lamb if it has two permanent incisor teeth, as long as those teeth have not begun to wear.

Australia is changing the definition of lamb to ‘young sheep under 12 months of age or which do not have any permanent incisor teeth in wear’, to match the New Zealand definition.

Barbecue expert, Bob Hart, said sheep age classifications are laughable.

“It’s a ridiculous classification because I reckon nine times out of ten you’ll find a hogget to be more delicious than a lamb,” he told 3AW’s Tom Elliott.

 

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