Making More from Sheep Australian Wool Innovation Limited Meat & Livestock Australia
MODULE 3: Market Focused Lamb and Sheepmeat Production
Tool 3.5
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Meat Standards Australia™ (MSA) lamb and sheepmeat is a supply chain management and assurance program designed to improve the eating quality of lamb, hogget, young mutton and mutton. The program began its commercialisation phase in 2006 by engaging with processors and is gaining significant momentum.

Lamb and sheep producers can register with MSA on-line at: or by calling 1800 111 672 and obtain a ‘producer pack’ that includes tips and tools as well as updates as they become available. Registered beef producers are automatically registered for the lamb and sheepmeat program.

An additional publication ‘Improving lamb and sheepmeat eating quality – a technical guide for the Australian sheepmeat supply chain’ is also available to MLA members for $30. Call 1800 675 717 to order your copy.

MSA Sheepmeat Program carcase and supply standards

On farm requirements

  • Minimum two weeks off shears (wool length ≥5mm)
  • Fat score ≥2
  • HSCW ≥16kg for Milk fed Lamb/ Young Lamb, HSCW ≥18kg for all weaned lambs, hogget and mutton
  • Total time off feed not greater than 48 hours before slaughter
  • Animals to have access to water at all times while not in transit
  • Minimum of two weeks at consignment property before dispatch
  • Maximum time in transit 24 hours
  • National Vendor Declaration (Sheep and Lambs) and Waybill to be correctly filled out and accompany consignment to saleyards or processor

Recommended growth rates

  • First and second cross - a minimum of 100g/day for 2 weeks prior to consignment
  • Greater than 50% Merinos and pure Merinos at least 150g/day for 2 weeks prior to consignment

Selling methods

  • Direct consignment – all categories eligible: Greater than 50% Merino or pure merino are accepted.
  • Saleyards – first cross and second cross accepted through saleyards
  • Greater than 50% Merino or pure Merino accepted through saleyards providing processor can demonstrate that animals through this pathway meet pH/temperature window requirements as outlined in MSA Sheepmeat Standards Manual


Carcase specifications

Category/ Cipher

Dentition H


Fat score


Milk fed Lamb as declared on NVD or Young Lamb

0 permanent incisor teeth
0 permanent incisor teeth
No eruption of permanent
upper molar teeth




Lamb *L*

0 permanent incisor teeth




Hogget *H*

1 but no more than 2 permanent
incisor teeth




Mutton *M*, *W*, *E*

4 permanent incisor teeth