16 March 2001

Beltex a brand and not a breed

RESEARCH into the selection of muscling traits in Texel sheep at the University of Liege, Belgium, was the foundation of the Beltex breed in the UK. But research chiefs were unaware of the breeds launch, claim its developers.

Pascal Leroy suggests his work on muscling in Texels was picked up by Beltex founder Tom Ashton. Research work had shown it was possible to achieve killing out performance of almost 60%, while retaining low fat levels and a high meat to bone ratio, he explained.

"We have many double-muscled Texels already in Belgium. Beltex is not a breed, but a brand," said Prof Leroy. However, the development of muscling traits in Texels was hoped to help increase lamb production in Belgium where domestic supplies account for just 15% of demand.