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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 452 asked in the Legislative Council on 9 May 2019 by Hon Colin De Grussa

Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on


452. Hon COLIN de GRUSSA to the Minister for Agriculture and Food:

I refer to the decision made by the federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources to change the definition of Australian ''lamb'' to match New Zealand's definition, allowing an animal to still be classified as a lamb if it has two or fewer incisor teeth.

(1) What process is the state government taking to implement the new federal definition at a state level?

(2) Will the changes made by the state government align directly with the definition as detailed by the federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources?

(3) Will the minister commit to implementing these changes by the 1 July 2019 deadline?

(4) If no to (3), when will these changes be implemented and what will the consequences be for not reaching the 1 July 2019 deadline?


I thank the member for the question.

(1)–(4) This has been an issue of some frustration to me because I have actually signed off on these amendments four times dating back to August last year. The big delay has been going through the regulatory impact process, even though it is a form of deregulation. Anyhow, that has been the process and we will have regulations drafted. There will be amendments to the Western Australian Meat Industry Authority Amendment Regulations so that those regulations line up with the new national definition. We have spoken to all the relevant sheep industry interests.

The new definition of lamb will be a ''young sheep under 12 months of age or which does not have any permanent incisor teeth in wear''. The words ''in wear'' is the critical difference. I have made it very clear that we want these regulations to be implemented and gazetted by 1 July 2019.