Scotland asks U.S. to lift haggis ban

The Scottish government has invited a delegation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to Scotland in a bid to lift the ban on haggis imports.

In an interview with the BBC, Scotland’s Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said he wants to show the officials that haggis is made in a safe and sanitary manner.

Earlier this year we reported that the ban on haggis was being lifted. This ban was put in place on UK meat products in 1989 thanks to the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, a.k.a. mad cow disease. The ban on UK meat was indeed lifted, but our report on haggis turned out to be premature, because in ensuing years the U.S. government had added a ban on imports of food containing sheep lungs, a key ingredient in traditional haggis.

Now the Scots are trying to get that last hurdle out of the way. Mr. Lochhead says the U.S. market for haggis could be huge. Think how many expat Scots, Scottish-Americans, and wannabe Scots there are in the good old U S of A. Just the number of people trying it once out of curiosity could add up to millions of dollars in sales.

He believes that if U.S. agriculture officials saw the high standards of food processing in Scotland, they’d give sheep lungs a break and allow them for human consumption.

Personally, I don’t like haggis, but that’s just me. I think that the more ethnic foods are available to the consumer, the better.

[Photo courtesy user Kaishu via Wikimedia Commons]

US haggis fans rejoice – 21 year old ban on haggis imports lifted!

Any fans of boiled sheep heart, liver and lungs cooked with oatmeal inside an animal stomach? Well, good news for you – the twenty one year old US ban on Haggis imports has been lifted!

Back in 1989, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (better known as mad cow disease) forced authorities to ban the import of haggis. Apparently, sheep offal can be lethal when infected with BSE.

Even though haggis is not exactly the kind of dish most Scots serve for dinner once a week, it is an important part if our heritage (yes, I’m Scottish). During the annual Burns Night celebrations, Haggis is always on the table.

American butchers tried making their own haggis, but seriously, who in their right mind would eat an American copycat haggis served in a can – especially when it looks (and apparently smells) like dog food?

It will take a couple of months for the first Scottish produced haggis to make it over here, and even then, you’ll need a specialty butcher to actually get your hands on one. Feel free to let us know whether you’ll be rushing to pick one up!