The lamb market remains much more seriously distorted by the FMD disaster than the cattle or pig sectors. Recent cattle slaughterings have been only slightly lower than a couple of years ago, and the sharply reduced pig kill is due largely to other influences, mainly cyclical and structural contraction of the breeding herd and different disease problems. In the sheep sector, on the other hand, the artificially low slaughter rate until now is thought to have been masking the build up of a surplus that is sure to put prices under even heavier pressure in the pre-Christmas marketing period. {{M/E MEAT }}