Suffolks were first exported to Australia in the 1880s (but not registered until 1904), the USA & Canada in 1888, South Africa 1896 and New Zealand in 1913. Today the breed is found throughout the world.
The Suffolk Sheep Society is now based in Ballymena, Northern Ireland.
(See also Scrapie - Suffolk Strain in the Suffolk as used in Virus Names section on the Misc. page)
In 1929, New Zealand breeder George Gould developed the breed known as the South Suffolk, by further crossing between the Suffolk & the Southdown. The main objective of this was to combine the lean carcase of the Suffolk with the finely-textured meat of the Southdown. It was recognised as a breed in 1940 & was first exported to Australia in 1946. It is now found throughout Australia. The South Suffolk is generally slightly smaller than the Suffolk, with rams weighing between 200 & 300 lb & ewes between 150 & 220 lb. The Australian South Suffolk Breeders Society was established in 1958, but amalgamated with the Australian Society of Breeders of British Sheep in 1972.
The White Suffolk is a breed developed in Australia in the 1970s with experimentation conducted by Professor E. Roberts of the University of New South Wales. The aim of this experimentation was to produce a breed with the stature & characteristics of the Suffolk, but with a white head, legs & body. The reason for this was to reduce the risk of contamination of the wool by dark fibres. This was achieved by crossing the Suffolk with white breeds; mainly the Poll Dorset. The Australian White Suffolk Association was established in 1985.
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