Beltex ram lambs are being offered for the first time in New Zealand on Friday.

The breed is a double-muscled Texel sheep that arrived in Britain from Belgium in 1989.

The Beltex, whose name combines Belgium and Texel, has a higher meat yield and killing-out percentage, and Beltex-crosses in Britain attract premiums from butchers.

The breed was brought to this country by Beltex New Zealand, comprising former Invermay leader Dr Jock Allison, Mt Somers farmer Blair Gallagher, farm adviser John Tavendale, and their families.

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Beltex breeders (from left) Jock Allison, Blair Gallagher and Hilary Allison show off the Beltexs' meaty behinds at the recent Southern Field Days in Waimumu. Photos: Nicole Sharp
Beltex breeders (from left) Jock Allison, Blair Gallagher and Hilary Allison show off the Beltexs' meaty behinds at the recent Southern Field Days in Waimumu. Photos: Nicole Sharp

They are now holding a sale at Mr Gallagher's property, Rangiatea, at 571 Upper Downs Rd, Mt Somers. Viewing begins at 11am and the sale starts at 1.30pm, with PGG Wrightson Livestock and Carrfields officiating.

On offer are 16 purebred Beltex ram lambs, 18 Beltex-Suffolk crosses, 20 Beltex-Poll Dorset crosses, and 10 Beltex-Perendale crosses.

''The buzz surrounding the inaugural sale is very positive,'' Carrfields marketing and communications group manager Shelley Donnelly said.

''We are expecting in excess of 350 people to attend this auction, many just to view this new breed of muscle-heavy sheep, but also some very serious buyers.''

Central Rural Life