US haggis ban set to be lifted (again) allowing ex-pats to celebrate Burns night in traditional way

Colan Lamont of the Daily Record reports Scots in the US could be eating haggis on Burns Night for the first time in 45 years as a ban on the traditional fayre looks likely to be lifted.

haggis-nov-16The traditional recipe has been outlawed there since sheep lungs became a banned food  in 1971.

But haggis made here could again adorn American dinner tables as the Scottish Government say a ban on Scots lamb could be overturned in the first half of 2017.

Producers of haggis and Scots farmers say they are ready to cater to the estimated 5.3 million Scots-Americans living in the US.

Scots have been fighting to ­overturn the ban since the days of President Nixon, when the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) ruled livestock lung could not be consumed by humans.

The campaign was dealt a further blow in 1997 when the US Government banned all imports of British lamb because of mad cow disease.

George Milne, regional ­development officer for the National Sheep Association, was part of a Scottish delegation that travelled to the US last year to urge USDA to end the ban on imports of lamb.

He said: “Having been there and spoken to people, it seems there would be a fairly big market for Scots lamb in America.

“The potential is big enough to be of massive ­benefit to Scots lamb. Let’s hope we get a successful outcome and the market will open up as soon as possible.

“There’s no reason why haggis and prime cuts of Scottish lamb could not be launched at the same time on Burns Day.”

The Scottish Government said: “A significant milestone was reached on September 16 when the US concluded its public consultation on proposals to lift the ban on the importation of lamb from the EU.

“Discussions are ongoing. We are hopeful the restrictions on the export of lamb and haggis will be lifted during the first half of next year.”