PGI Welsh Lamb are carcases or cuts of meat from lambs bred, born, reared in Wales and slaughtered in approved abattoirs. Extensive sheep production plays an important role in the Welsh rural economy and historical references date as far back as the 14th century. Welsh lamb enjoys a unique worldwide reputation which is derived from the traditional extensive farming. Farms are often family owned and over the generations a great deal of expertise in producing Welsh lamb has accumulated.
The unique character of Welsh lamb arises from the influence of the traditional hardy Welsh breeds that dominate the Welsh flock and also by the lambs feeding on the abundant natural grassland in Wales, which flourishes as a result of the wet and mild Welsh climate and topography.
Each producer controls his own flock of sheep, lambs suckle the ewe and graze outdoors on the grass. Lambs are all slaughtered at up to one year old in approved abattoirs. All abattoirs are scheme approved and are required to maintain records to ensure traceability of each batch of lambs purchased, to guarantee the integrity of supply as being Welsh lamb.
Minimum requirements with regard to the traceability of the product are:
- sheep raised extensively on grassland;
- veterinary records according to government requirements;
- traceability compliant to Farm-assured Welsh Livestock Protocol. All lambs are tagged with producer's flock number printed on the tags;
- transport and slaughter identification according to government regulations.
Reference: The European Commission