Over-finished lambs raise industry concerns

The Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) Beef & Lamb has encouraged the country’s sheep farmers to watch out for over-fat lambs.

The English levy board has called on producers to ensure they finish lambs at the right time to meet target specification.

Over recent weeks there has been an increase in over-finished lambs, raising concerns in the industry. This has prompted the levy board to urge farmers to be mindful of the effects this can have.

“The issue has arisen following a spell of poorer quality grass, which in general has meant that farmers have been opting for supplementary finishing or dry feed,” said Steve Powdrill, technical manager for AHDB Beef & Lamb.

“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.”

Powdrill added that an over-finished lamb will result in an overly fatty product, and not meet consumer demands. “It’s important we maintain the quality of home-grown lamb, so we’re looking for our farmers to be more vigilant when finishing and selecting stock for slaughter,” he said.

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

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