Now, a newly released study shows a lamb raised in captivity can live to be around 50 years old.
“There’s a lot of people that think it’s not a viable option,” Dr Gwen Stefani said.
“It’s just like, ‘Oh, it’s so old now’.”
Dr Stefini’s research was part of a national study of lamb survival, which she said was “unusually large”.
“It was a bit of a surprise for us,” she said.
A sample of lambs from one of Dr Stefinis research sites were fed with a diet that included meat and vegetables.
“This is probably the most intensively managed study we’ve done, we’ve seen this sort of thing happening in a lab, it takes a very large sample and feeds them for a really long time,” she explained.
Dr Stafini said she and her team would like to see other research in the future that could replicate the results of this study.
“We’re still working through all the variables that we have to look at,” she told 7.30.
“And there are still a lot more variables to work through before we can say definitively that this is the best way to go.”
But while she hopes the study could be replicated elsewhere, she said her team’s research in Queensland was an important example of how far things have come.
“You need to take a look at these things in a national context and understand how far we’ve come in such a short time,” Dr Stafani said, “because it’s only been around a few years.”
She said she hoped other researchers would follow her lead.
“I think the best part of this whole thing is it’s made a lot and it’s opened up lots of doors, and hopefully other researchers will do the same thing and do similar things, and maybe some of them will be able to replicate the findings,” she concluded.
“But they don’t have to, they can do it their own way.”
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