WESTERN Australian Dorper producers have been concerned about rumours over the past week that a WA abattoir was not buying the breed due to processing issues.
Bunbury processor V&V Walsh confirmed to Farm Weekly this week that it was not buying any Dorpers citing the sheep’s shedding coat as holding up the processing system.
V & V Walsh chief executive Peter Walsh said the company was having a lot of issues with hair contaminating the carcase and that would force the processing chain to stop.
He said with the number of lambs around at the moment they had to make a decision in the best interest of the company.
“We are busy as hell at the moment and it just keeps holding our chain up,” Mr Walsh said.
“You have to keep the chain up and we need to keep going so it is affecting our business in a big way.
“If the hair comes off the carcase you have to keep stopping the chain all the time.
“We are trying to run through big numbers to help the farmers and get numbers through at this peak period.”
Mr Walsh said the processor was operating at full capacity and processing 3500 head a day.
He said he expected to start buying Dorpers again in November when things began to slow down.
Kaya Dorper stud principal Adrian Veitch said he had spoken to WAMMCO about processing Dorpers, which said it had better technology so there wasn’t an issue with the hair.
“This time of year is when Dorpers shed,” Mr Veitch said.
“And if you are taking lambs they are shedding so the hair can get in the system.
“It is a commercial decision on their (Walshes) behalf so producers will just have to go to WAMMCO or somewhere else.
“It is not something which worries me because when everybody else’s lambs are going off Dorpers can still produce good lambs out in dry country.
“In the last couple of years sheep had been in demand so there were always space for kills but before that, at this time of year, where there was a glut in the market it was hard to get kill space.
“Normally if this happened we would just try and get them on the boats but obviously with live export issues at the moment it makes that a bit harder.”
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