Burns night in Scotland is traditionally celebrated by the eating of Haggis. However, it cannot be celebrated this way in the USA because haggis has been banned form the country. Therefore Rural Affairs Secretary, Richard Lockhead has invited US government officials to Scotland to try to talk them round.
The haggis ban is due to the fact that the US food agency has banned the use of sheep’s lungs in any food products and haggis contains them. Therefore imports of haggis in to the USA are banned. The USA also banned the import of offal in 1989 due to the BSE outbreak in Britain but since this has been cleared up that ban has been lifted. However, the haggis ban still remains and therefore action is being taken to lift it.
Mr Lockhead explained that there are a lot of Scottish people in the USA who would like to enjoy haggis on Burns night. He feels that it is a lucrative market for the Scottish people who make haggis and is hoping that they will be able to export it to the USA soon. He is hoping that by inviting the US department of Agriculture to Scotland and showing them how it is produced, they will understand that it is of a very high standard and might lift the ban.
A Company spokesman from Macsween, a haggis producer explained that American visitors love haggis if they try it when visiting Scotland. He felt that they would appreciate being able to take some home with them and also to be able to buy it once they returned.
Mr Lockhead, did ask to get the ban lifted last year but is still hopeful that his attempts will be worthwhile and Americans will be able to enjoy haggis, neaps and tatties on Burns night as many Scottish people do.