Australian lamb exports are being redefined to help farmers compete with New Zealand.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has introduced an amendment to export laws to change the definition so animals under 12 months of age with two permanent incisor teeth are considered lamb.
As long as the teeth are new and have not started to wear, exports will be considered lamb, bringing Australia’s definition in line with the New Zealand classification.
The proposed changes will allow farmers to sell lamb later in the growing season.
Previously, lamb had been considered to have grown into the less lucrative hogget or mutton as soon as incisor teeth were visible.
Mr Littleproud has described the new definition as a simple, common-sense change.
“The new definition is designed to bring Australia’s in line with international competitors,” he told parliament on Wednesday.
“Australia is the largest exporter of sheep meat and the second largest exporter of lamb and mutton in the world.”
The sheep and lamb industry in Australia is worth $4.5 billion per annum.