US market to open doors to UK lamb from 2022

Exports of British lamb to the US market can resume from next year after more than two decades of restrictions.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has confirmed it has amended the rule which currently prevents imports of lamb from the UK into the USA. The amended “small ruminant rule” will come into force on 3 January 2022.

This new development means that over 300 million US consumers will soon be able to enjoy the UK lamb. It is estimated that this market will be worth £37 million in the first five years of trade.

In a call earlier with his US counterpart Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Environment Secretary George Eustice expressed his delight at the news. The Ministers committed to continue to work together in the months ahead.

The update comes after President Biden committed to lift the ban on British lamb during the Prime Minister’s visit to the White House in September, and follows an easing on restrictions on British beef exports earlier this year.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “Today’s great news follows years of negotiations and builds on the success in securing the resumption of UK beef exports to the US. UK lamb is renowned for its high quality, food safety and welfare standards. Millions of US consumers will now be able to enjoy British lamb as early as next year. The US market for lamb is growing as consumer trends change and there are now new opportunities for farmers and meat processors in this market.”