LONDON — The United Kingdom resumed shipping beef to the United States on Sept. 30 for the first time since 1996. European beef has been banned in the United States since the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, outbreak in the United Kingdom more than 20 years ago.
In the summer of 2019, the United States agreed to equivalence standards on the United Kingdom’s disease control measure after inspections took place. The ban was lifted in March 2020.
“The US represents an important potential market for our red meat exports and today’s first shipment is the result of the hard work and persistence of industry and government to bring about this crucial next step,” said Phil Hadley, international market development director for the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). “This important milestone will bring a fantastic boost to the sector and we look forward to seeing more of our red meat served up on dinner tables across the US in the months and years to come.”
The first shipment of beef originated from Foyle Food Group, Foyle Campsie in Northern Ireland. More shipments from around the United Kingdom are expected in the coming weeks.
“Our beef is renowned as some of the best in the world for its high quality, food safety and welfare standards, and this landmark milestone means more people around the globe can enjoy our produce,” said George Eustice, UK Environment secretary.
The export business to the United States is estimated to be worth £66 million ($85 million) over the next five years.