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The Australian sheep industry, particularly the lamb meat sector has undergone a major change in focus, such that consumer requirements are a paramount determinant for production and processing developments. This change has been facilitated by the use of cross breeding production systems where the benefits of heterosis are captured and the implementation of a performance recording system amongst initially, breeders of terminal sires. This sector of the industry has strongly embraced genetic selection using objectively measured traits and this is one of the contributors to the superior growth rate of crossbred progeny over pure bred progeny. A crossbreeding system does present challenges as it can also lead to fatter carcases depending on slaughter weight targets and thus less lean or saleable meat. This means that appropriate sire selection is mandatory. Which ever region of the world is under consideration; crossbreeding for meat production will return benefits and these will be further strengthened if the processing sector also adopts technology to enhance eating quality such as electrical stimulation and ageing.

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The Place of Crossbred Lambs in Australian Lamb Production

The Australian sheep industry, particularly the lamb meat sector has undergone a major change in focus, such that consumer requirements are a paramount determinant for production and processing developments. This change has been facilitated by the use of cross breeding production systems where the benefits of heterosis are captured and the implementation of a performance recording system amongst initially, breeders of terminal sires. This sector of the industry has strongly embraced genetic selection using objectively measured traits and this is one of the contributors to the superior growth rate of crossbred progeny over pure bred progeny. A crossbreeding system does present challenges as it can also lead to fatter carcases depending on slaughter weight targets and thus less lean or saleable meat. This means that appropriate sire selection is mandatory. Which ever region of the world is under consideration; crossbreeding for meat production will return benefits and these will be further strengthened if the processing sector also adopts technology to enhance eating quality such as electrical stimulation and ageing.