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Goatmeat supply trends

12 February 2019

During the 2017-18 financial year, 1.9 million goats were processed in Australia (Department of Agriculture and Water, 2018). Here we look at the source, production and supply chain movements of these goats. The NSW Department of Primary Industries Goat Industry Data Collation and Tracking project collated the information in this article using data sourced from NLIS Ltd, with funding from Meat & Livestock Australia. The project is quantifying and monitoring the number of goats supplied from each region in Australia, which had been a significant gap in the information available to industry.

NSW supplied more than 65% of the total goat production figure. The vast majority of NSW’s goat supply came from the rangeland of western NSW. The National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) regions of Bourke, Cobar and Broken Hill are the largest goat producing areas in NSW. These three regions produced more than half of the goats supplied for processing from NSW.

Producers in the Bourke, Cobar and Broken Hill regions predominately operate harvest enterprises, capturing goats from the wild population. In a survey conducted during 2017, only 20% of producers in these regions said they operated a managed or semi-managed enterprise.

About half the goats supplied for processing from NSW entered the supply chain via a depot, and the other half were sent directly to abattoirs. Saleyards were the source of only a small proportion of goat (<1%).

Victorian abattoirs processed more than 50% of goats produced in NSW. Queensland abattoirs slaughtered around 30% of NSW goats. NSW or South Australian abattoirs processed the remaining goats bred in NSW.

South Australian producers supplied about 16% of the goats slaughtered nationally. The Northern Pastoral and Barossa/Lower NLIS regions were the largest source of goats in South Australia, supplying about 85% of the goats produced in the state.

In the pastoral areas of South Australia, legislation restricts producers farming goats. Consequently, the majority of goats are harvested from unmanaged herds.

Abattoirs in South Australia processed more than 99% of goat production in the state. More than 60% of the goats were sent directly from properties to abattoirs.

Queensland produced a similar number of goats to South Australia, about 14% of the goats supplied nationally. South West Queensland, inside the dog fence, is the primary production area. The Paroo and Balonne regions are the leading production zones.

Goats are produced in managed, semi-managed and harvested enterprises, although the proportion of production from the different enterprise is unquantified in Queensland. Most goats (nearly 90%) were sent directly from properties to Queensland abattoirs, which killed almost all (97%) of the goats produced in the state.

WA supplied 3% of the total goats, which were processed mostly in WA (85%), with some also processed by abattoirs in South Australia. Victoria produced less than 1% of goats, which were slaughtered within the state (~60%) or in South Australia (40%). 

For more information, please contact NSW Department of Primary Industries technical specialist, Trudie Atkinson E: