Lamb struggles to meet quality targets

The quality of British lamb decreased in 2012 with only 57% of animals meeting target quality specification.

According to figures released by Eblex yesterday, more than half of the lambs from a sample of 133,400 slaughtered in British abattoirs last year did not meat the “R3L or better” classification.

However, closer analysis of the data showed that new season lamb maintained performance and matched its 2011 figure of 60.1% of lambs meeting the R3L or better classification. Eblex said: “This is extremely encouraging considering the wet weather the industry faced in 2012.”

But the organisation added that there was greater concern over old season lambs and explained there had been an increase in the number being slaughtered at fat class 3H or above. This situation may have been caused by producers delaying sending lambs to slaughter, while waiting for better market prices, it said.
Eblex said: “Lambs in the correct condition for their designated market will maximise returns and benefit from the higher end prices within the Standard Quality Quotation average. Frequent, careful handling of stock is essential to ensure each animal is sent to slaughter once it has reached its full potential and target specification.


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