After more than two decades, British lamb – including lamb from the Scottish Borders - will be enjoyed in the United States after the relaxation of restrictions.
The change, made by the United States Department of Agriculture, was agreed by the Prime Minister and President Biden in a meeting a few months ago.
It is estimated the change will benefit the lamb industry by £37m and follows a similar relaxation of restrictions on British beef earlier this year. It means that beef and lamb will be able to be enjoyed in a market of 300 million consumers.
The change is due to take place on the 3rd January.
John Lamont MP said:
“Borders lamb is well known for its quality and is a regular on restaurant menus up and down the country.
“Now our high-quality lamb will be able to be enjoyed in the US too after the UK Government negotiated this change in regulations.
“Given the size of the US meat market there is a real opportunity for the British sheep industry to carve out a sizable part of it.
“Scottish farming has a huge role to play in our recovery from the pandemic and in our fight against climate change.”
National Farmers Union President, Minette Batters said:
“It’s excellent to hear that the work of the UK Government and levy boards has finally helped secure access for British lamb to the United States. British lamb is a fantastic, sustainable product that is recognised around the world for its quality, and we know there is demand for it in the US.
“This is exactly the sort of export opportunity we need to see the government pursuing and is something we strongly support. This is a positive step for Britain’s lamb producers, and we would urge the government to continue opening up new markets around the world.”