The key products of the Western Australian sheep industry are wool, sheepmeat (lamb and mutton) and live sheep. At around 14.2 million sheep, the Western Australian flock turns off approximately 5.7 million sheep and lambs for meat and live export as well as 72 million kilograms of greasy wool (primarily for export markets) annually.
The Merino is the most common breed of sheep in Western Australia (WA), making up 80% of the WA flock. The remainder are ‘British breeds’ or so-called maternal breeds, meat specific breeds such as Dorpers and some breeds for specialty meat and fibre markets.
The Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia’s (DAFWA) current focus is on increasing lamb supply, improving the productivity, welfare and sustainability of sheep production and developing and extending targeted information products and services to generate practice change. In an effort to increase the marking rate of lambs, DAFWA, in collaboration with industry, has developed the More Sheep initiative.