July 30, 2004
July 30, 2004 -- What might pass as a lamb in New Zealand gets the less flattering name of hogget in Australia, reports Age Australia.
Australia has long defined a lamb as a young sheep that has not yet cut adult teeth. If the teeth have broken through, the animal becomes a hogget.
New Zealand deems an animal with up to two adult teeth a lamb, and there is a big price differential between premium lamb and a more down-marketed hogget.
Some Australian lamb producers have been working to change their nation?s definition of lamb. Their argument is that the dry conditions and lack of soft grass in the fattening paddocks have caused many lambs to cut their adult teeth sooner.
At the New South Wales Farmers Association Annual Conference in Sydney, a motion was entertained to ?support a change in the definition of a lamb to include animals that have no more than one permanent incisor tooth erupted.? The motion was defeated.
A representative of the Sheepmeat Council of Australia said that the definition of a lamb is ?black and white? -- and must remain that way.