Imports of Bone-In Sheep Meat from Uruguay Allowed
The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has issued a final rule that, effective Oct. 12, will allow imports of bone-in sheep meat from Uruguay under certain conditions. APHIS states that under this rule it will exempt such meat from the deboning requirement for a select group of lambs subjected to additional risk-mitigating measures, including testing for foot and mouth disease with negative results, individual animal identification and traceability, and segregation of selected lambs from FMD-susceptible animals following testing.
According to APHIS, Uruguay expects to export bone-in meat from up to 6,000 lambs per year, producing a total weight of about 100 metric tons. While all meat from these lambs will be eligible for import under this rule, the focus will likely be on rack of lamb, which represents about 25 metric tons. By contrast, the U.S. imported about 43,300 metric tons of bone-in lamb meat annually from 2012 through 2015.