The United States will lift its ban on imports of British lamb, Boris Johnson has announced, a move the sheep sector says will help maximise trade opportunities for UK farmers.
A ban on both British lamb and beef imports to the US has been in place since 1989 due to concerns around BSE, commonly known as ‘mad cow disease’.
Boris Johnson made the announcement following talks with President Joe Biden at the White House.
“I can tell you today that what we’re going to get from the United States now is a lifting of the decades-old ban, totally unjustified, discriminating on British farmers and British lamb,” the prime minister said.
“It’s about time too. And what we’re wanting to do is make solid incremental steps in trade.”
The National Sheep Association (NSA) welcomed the announcement, saying it would increase demand for British sheepmeat within the US.
According to the trade body, the UK is the third largest exporter of sheepmeat globally, but American consumption of the meat is currently ‘very low’.
However, it said the new deal could help stimulate interest in lamb and mutton through “exporting high quality British sheepmeat that reinspires interest”.
NSA chief executive Phil Stocker said: “This creates another opportunity for our industry to maximise trade opportunities and we have always seen the US as being a potentially important market.
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