About South Dorset Sheep
South African Meat Merino (SAMM) sheep were imported into
South Africa by the Department of Agriculture from 1936 to 1974 from Germany
where the Deutsche Fliesch Merino is a common meat sheep of Germany, Austria,
and Poland. In South Africa, the name was translated as Duits Vleis Merino and
then into English as German Mutton Merino. In 1974, the South African Breed
Society changed the name to the South African Mutton Merino.
When imported into Australia in 1996, Western Australian
SAMM breeders registered the name Prime SAMM, as the Australian usage of the
word "'Mutton" relates to a description of extremely old and inedible
sheep meat. The translation used in Australia is South African Meat Merino. The SAMM is bred specifically to produce a slaughter lamb at an early age (35
kg/77 lbs. at 100 days of age), while still being able to produce good volumes
(4 kg/8.8 lbs) of medium to strong wool.