A questionnaire‐based survey was conducted to establish the current market requirements for lamb and those likely in the future. Two questionnaires were produced and sent to the largest lamb abattoirs and retailers in the UK. Current markets generally require a carcass of weight 16‐21kg, conformation E‐R and fat score 2 or 3L. The forecast for future requirements was not clear, but some respondents expressed a desire to narrow the specification ranges given and also to increasingly use carcasses heavier than 21kg to supply bone‐less lamb. A two market scenario, one for medium sized lambs to supply bone‐in cuts and the other for heavier, lean carcasses to supply the boneless lamb, may develop in the long term. The results of this study form a useful basis on which to decide on suitable objectives for genetic improvement programs for sheep breeds, which can be used to help lamb producers meet the requirements of current and likely future markets.
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