Welsh and English lamb has been exported to the US for the first time in over 20 and 25 years respectively.

The consignment was processed at Dunbia in Carmarthenshire, Wales, at the end of last week.

There had been a ban on British lamb imports in place in the US following an outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE); this was lifted by the United States Department for Agriculture (USDA) last year.

According to the UK government, the US market will be worth £37 million in the first five years of trade.

The shipment of lamb has been welcomed by government officials.

In a Tweet, Prime Minister Liz Truss said that this “milestone marks a well-deserved boost to our rural economy”.

Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch and Wales’ Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths agreed this is great news.

This sentiment has been echoed across the industry, from people and organisations including Dr. Richard Irvine, UK deputy chief veterinary officer; the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB); the National Farmers’ Union (NFU); the National Sheep Association (NSA); and Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC).

NFU president, Minette Batters said:

“It is great news that British farmers producing top quality, sustainable, high-welfare lamb once again have access to the US market, something we’ve been working hard to achieve for over two decades.

“Expanding into markets such as these will be crucial to maintain the profitability of farm businesses.”