South African Mutton Merino


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Special Characteristics: 
A strong well muscled polled sheep with an excellent conformation and balance. It is a large framed breed with a fleece of pure white wool–free of kemp and coloured fibres (Ramsay et al., n.d).
Main Location: 
Inhabits South Africa; semi-arid regions, up to high rainfall south grassveld areas.
Originally known as the German Mutton Merino, the first sheep were imported from Germany in 1932 by the South African Department of Agriculture for a breeding programme. Although not a true landrace, the South African Mutton Merino was developed through selection for better wool quality and conformation. The uniqueness of this South African breed was recognized in 1971 when the breed name was changed to the South African Mutton Merino. The breed has been used, as a sire line, in the development of three South African landrace breeds, namely the Dohne Merino, the Afrino and the Dormer (Ramsay et al., n.d).