12 Dec 2011

New sheep breed introduced to New Zealand

1:28 pm on 12 December 2011

The man behind the introduction of a sheep breed new to New Zealand expects it to make its mark on the meat industry as the demand grows for sheep that yield more meat.

Murray Rohloff, of Alexandra, started importing semen and embryos of the Charollais sheep breed about two years ago.

Last week, his company Charollais Sheep New Zealand Limited held the first sale of pure and cross-bred rams at Gore, where the top priced ram fetched $12,000.

Mr Rohloff says the Charollais sheep originated in France in the same region as the Charolais cattle breed that's well established in New Zealand.

He says Charollais sheep have been gaining popularity in the UK and he recognised a role for them in New Zealand as well.

Mr Rohloff says it will take a few years to build up Charollais sheep numbers.