© Tim Scrivener

An increase in over-finished lambs hitting markets in recent weeks is putting the public perception of English lamb at risk, the AHDB has warned.

AHDB Beef & Lamb has urged sheep farmers to hit market specifications.

Steve Powdrill, AHDB Beef & Lamb technical manager, explained that farmers had been feeding more concentrate during a spell of poorer quality grass.

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 “As a result, lambs can finish and change very quickly. To this end, we have seen an increase in over-fat lambs in both livestock markets and abattoirs.

“Over-finished lambs produce a fatty product, which has a negative effect on consumer perception. It’s important we maintain the quality of home-grown lamb,” Mr Powdrill said.

“We’re looking for our farmers to be more vigilant when finishing and selecting stock for slaughter.

“This requires frequent, careful handling of the lambs to ensure each animal has reached its full potential and target specification,” he added.