SCOTCH Beef is set to make a return to US dinner tables after an absence of nearly 20 years following the “mad cow” disease outbreak.
A ban on EU beef has finally been lifted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The US market has been closed to any EU beef, including deboned beef, since 1997, when the US introduced import restrictions on beef, sheep and goats and their products on the basis of concerns over the BSE crisis.
Scotland’s Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said the move was a “massive breakthrough”.
Lochhead said: “The Scottish Government has been pushing hard for this for a number of years.
“Scotch Beef is among the best in the world and its provenance is unrivalled, ensuring the highest standards and quality.
“I’m delighted that these long standing trade barriers have been lifted. Scotch Beef has been off the menu in the USA for far too long and the re-opening of an extremely lucrative market is a tremendous opportunity to expand our beef exports and one which I am keen for the industry to grasp.”
The Scottish Government now hopes the USA will follow its beef move by lifting the ban on other “iconic Scottish products” like Scotch Lamb and haggis which remains in place.