Because the majority of lamb in Britain 1s sold to the consumer ‘bone-In’ it 1s difficult to trim excessive fat. Nevertheless, consumer acceptability of specific retail cuts 1s markedly affected by the fat content of that joint at the point of sale. Therefore, any strategy which aims to define breed-specific carcass weights at slaughter needs to consider the effect this will have on retail joint weights, their composition and hence acceptability. This study examined the effect of breed, sex and carcass weight on the proportions of the four main lamb cuts, and their composition.
In this study a total of 317 castrated males and 238 females from six pure breeds (Clun Forest, Dorset Horn, Hampshire Down, Suffolk, Colbred and Welsh Mountain), were slaughtered in. the conventional manner. The range 1n cold carcass weight (CCW) was from 12 to 24 kg. Carcasses were jointed and each of the nine joints then dissected into lean, bone, subcutaneous fat (SCF) and intermuscular fat (IMF) (Brown and Williams, 1979)1 For ease of presentation the data for nine joints were reduced to four by combining some of them. The shoulder Included the neck, the breast Included the brisket and flank, the leg Included the upper and lower leg and the loin included the best end of neck.