Three meat processing plants are to be involved in a trial of sheep inspections to see if meat company workers can carry out product checks currently done by independent Government assessors.
The Food Safety Authority is running the six-month trial, starting next month.
The tests look for abnormalities on the meat including contamination, scar tissue and cysts.
Current quality and safety criteria will be applied throughout the trial, and extra checks will be done by Food Safety staff.
Food Safety Authority acting deputy director Carol Barnao says the trial is about making the meat industry take more responsibility.
Meat will continue to be inspected by Government officials for the forseeable future, no matter the outcome of the trial, which is part of the Government's push to get the export industry into line with best practice.