Uruguay – U.S. Reach Agreement on Boneless Lamb and More
November 15, 2013

Boneless and matured lamb and mutton from Uruguay will have access to the U.S. market again as of Nov. 29. The announcement was made in Montevideo by visiting U.S. Agriculture Under Secretary Edward Avalos, following its publication in the Federal Register and means the conclusion of nine years of negotiations. 
“This is great news for Uruguayan farmers and the meat industry not only because it’s another market but because with the U.S. certification it will facilitate access to other markets,” said Jose Costa, president of Uruguay’s Meat industry association Adifu. 
This also means that Uruguay joins the exclusive club of countries with lamb access to the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Contrary to what happens with beef, there are no quotas in the United States for lamb and mutton. 
At the ceremony making the announcement, Uruguay’s agriculture and livestock minister Tabare Aguerre handed Avalos the formal request for lamb and mutton with bone to be included in the list of access to the U.S. market. The United States has very strict regulations regarding the importation of meat cuts with bone. Uruguay is free of foot and mouth disease as a result of vaccination. 
Avalos also revealed that the United States is interested in selling live cattle, meat cuts and offal – mainly sweetbreads – for which there is a strong demand in Uruguay. He said sanitary negotiations are on course and he is hopeful that quite soon the Uruguayan market opens for that produce. 
“We’ve been talking with Aguerre and I’m sure they will accept our protocols so that we can export these produce to Uruguay (beef, offal, live cattle and chicken meat),” said Avalos. “I’m sure we can advance on these issues. Trust will help us to move ahead in other issues.” 
Uruguay exported lamb into the United States before foot and mouth disease infected the country’s livestock herd and flocks about 10 years ago. 
Reprinted in part from MercoPress