New Zealand lamb exports rose 7% in 2007 to a record 338 623t. Much of the rise in shipments for the year were driven by higher export-lamb production. The EU remains the largest export destination for New Zealand lamb, receiving 48% of total exports in 2007, at 164 219t. Exports to France rose 5% to 25 067t, while shipments to the UK were steady at 74 403t. Lamb exports to the Middle East reached their highest level since 2000, increasing by 62% to 28 422t. Shipments to Canada rose 14% to 11 007t. Exports to the United States fell 5% to 19 739t, with shipments to Japan down 45% to 6 395t.
NZ meat processing plants face shutdown
Industry observers say as many as five New Zealand meat processing plants may close in the next few years causing a loss of thousands of jobs because of falling sheep and beef numbers. Meat and Wool New Zealand said 300 000 fewer lambs than last year would be available for processing in the South Island’s Otago and Southland regions this year. In 1960, New Zealand’s national sheep flock totalled 50,2 million head, including 34,7 million lambs. Last year’s figures are expected to show the flock at just 39,1 million head.
Americans may soon eat cloned animals’ offspring
The US Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve human consumption of cloned animals any day now. “Based on a number of parameters including physiological and clinical ones, healthy clones and healthy offspring don’t show any significant differences from their conventional counterparts,” a draft stated. But, consumers wouldn’t get to eat cloned animals directly. The value of a cloned animal is in its genetic reproductive capability, so it would be the offspring of cloned animals that would be used to supply food. – Alan Harman
Issue date: 25 January 2008