Goat production, slaughter on the rise

The increase in slaughter for the states that process the most goats.

Global consumers’ interest in goats over the past few years has been increasing, with strong market demand from the United States as well as growing demand from other markets.

More Australian producers are turning to the resilient animal that can thrive in a range of production systems and environments, with this increase in goat production helping to meet the growing demand for the protein.

Goat production and slaughter

Goat meat production in the first quarter of 2022 reached nearly 7558 tonnes. This was the highest level of goat production since 2018, when production exceeded 8000 tonnes.

This increased production is 67 per cent above the same time last year’s levels and 30 per cent higher than production in the December 2021 quarter.

This increase has been driven by higher slaughter volumes, not carcase weights.

Victoria and Queensland are the leaders in goat meat production and slaughter, with some producers moving from sheep operations into goat farming.

South Australia is also following the trend of increased production and slaughter in the past two years.

Victoria has seen the most significant increase in production since early 2022.

Processors lead the push

Notably, Western Australia has increased its goat production significantly, with production in the state increasing by nearly 7000 per cent, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

This is likely due to a processing plant in WA resuming goat slaughter, building interest in the industry from the west.

Meanwhile, a processing plant in Bourke, NSW, has been taken over by new owners for use as a goat-specific operation — a significant investment in the industry.

An expansion in Charleville, Queensland, will also allow the increase in slaughter of goats in the state, increasing goat slaughter by 7000 head/week.

Goat slaughter up in Victoria

The graph with this article shows the increase in slaughter for the states that process the most goats.

The increase in slaughter is most pronounced in Victoria and SA — indicating that goat turn-off in southern and western NSW has increased, as most goats processed in these states are sourced from NSW.

Industry development

The market for goats is only strengthening, encouraging many producers to operate managed goat enterprises.

This movement has seen producers become more selective in what gets sent to the processors.

This is causing carcase weights to ease slightly as producers are getting a discount for extremely heavy and light goats.

However, even with goat carcase weights easing, production is rising within key goat-producing areas.

– Meat & Livestock Australia