Hopes raised on haggis ban

The Scottish Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead has raised the issue of the ban on haggis with the US government.

Imports of Scotland’s iconic dish have been banned in America for almost 40 years and the move to allow authentic Scottish haggis trade has been backed by the industry, including haggis maker Macsween.

The ban predates legislation on BSE and concerns the use of sheep lungs in both domestic and imported food products

Lochhead reopened the debate following a state visit last year – and is continuing the campaign following Burns Night

He said: “Since I first raised this matter in correspondence last year I’ve had further constructive discussions during my recent visit to Washington on how we can have the import ban on our national dish lifted.

“We want to capitalise on the diaspora of Scots in the US  and many of them would enjoy the opportunity to indulge in authentic Scottish haggis to accompany their neeps and tatties on Burns night. That’s why I’m continuing the campaign for our producers to gain access to this potentially lucrative market, which could be worth millions of pounds to the Scottish economy.

“Scotland’s produce is among the best in the world and I’ve asked US Department of Agriculture officials to come here to see for themselves the high standards we have in animal health and processing.

“This will help them realise that our haggis is produced to the highest standards and that it’s time to allow imports to resume.”

>> US authorities rush to quell haggis ban rumours

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