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‘World’s Cutest Sheep’ Is Now Allowed In Australia

Lambs from a breed of sheep described as 'the cutest in the world' have been born in Australia for the first time, after embryos and semen were imported from the UK.

Hailing from the Swiss Alps, the Valais Blacknose were traditionally bred for meat and wool, but their looks and gentle temperaments have since made them popular as pets.

The breed has never been on Australian soil before, Head of Biosecurity, Andrew Tongue, from the federal agriculture department said.

"The breed has now spread to Europe, the UK, and the US, and this year the first Valais reached Australia," he said.

"Farmers and pet lovers have been interested in getting the Valais Blacknose breed into Australia for many years."

The embryos and semen were imported to Australia this year by specialist company Caprotek after it applied to the department.

Strict biosecurity arrangements had to be put in place because genetic material from sheep can pose disease risks, including scrapie - the ovine equivalent of Mad Cow disease.

"Following a long process over three years, complicated by Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic, the frozen embryos and semen were approved by the department and were able to make their way to Australia," Mr Tongue said.

"The importer was able to meet all biosecurity requirements to allow the import, and as you can see from the photos, the result was worth the effort."

AAP with The Project