Lamb exports allowed to US

After a ban lasting more than 20 years, UK lamb will be granted access to the American market – estimated to be worth £37 million in the first five years of trade from early 2022.

After extensive risk evaluations, US authorities yesterday removed the small ruminant rule, which had banned imports of lamb from countries where scrapie had been identified.

Defra said that work was ongoing to finalise legislation in the US, effectively allowing UK processors to be eligible to ship lamb following final agreement on the Export Health Certificate.

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The four UK red meat levy bodies, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and Livestock and Meat Commission Northern Ireland (LMC), said they would continue to work with government and the UK Export Certification Partnership (UKECP) on this to support the commencement of commercial trade.

Tom Gibson, director of market development at QMS, said he welcomed the news that the US had lifted its ban on British lamb, providing a new export market for Scotch Lamb PGI.

“Scotland produces some of the world’s highest quality sheep meat products, sustainably farmed, to the highest animal welfare and environmental standards.

“This exciting new opportunity will be one our exporters of Scotch lamb will be keen to grasp and maximise trade opportunities with potential customers in the US. QMS will be working closely with industry and the government to support the development of our export trade to the US.”

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