Improvements in production and marketing have resulted in record carcass quality for both new- and old-season lambs, according to the latest classification results from EBLEX.

Reports from a sample of more than 160,000 lambs slaughtered in British abattoirs during 2008 show 59% meeting the target “R3L or better” specification, according to EBLEX meat scientist Kim Matthews.

“This shows British lambs have shaken off the marketing disruptions of 2007, when both foot-and-mouth and bluetongue movement restrictions seriously disrupted marketing,” she says.

“Having increased sharply to 19.5kg as a result of marketing delays in 2007, average carcass weights fell back to 18.9kg in 2008. In fact this is the first time ever the proportion of mainstream 16-19.9kg new season carcasses classifying R3L or better exceeded the 70% mark, while over 50% of 12-15.9kg carcasses best suited for export hit the specification.”

Specification

3L or better

R or Better

R3L or Better

Year

2007

2008

2007

2008

2007

2008

All Lambs (%)

72

76

77

79

54

59

New Season Lambs (%)

71

77

81

82

56

62

Old Season Lambs (%)

74

75

72

73

50

52