As demand for Australian meat exports surge in the light of foot and mouth and BSE concerns, prices are also being driven up on the domestic market.

Mike Donnelly, CEO of the Western Australia Meat Industry Authority revealed that the price of beef and sheep meat is catching up with other premium cuts: “It puts Q-lamb into the same category as dhufish, king prawns or boneless chicken breasts.”

While supermarkets tout economy meat buys however, smaller butchers are warning that if they are to retain their reputation for high quality meat, then consumers must take on the higher costs.