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Uruguay wins approval to export ovine meat to U.S.

Meat to be imported must come from lambs that test negative for foot-and-mouth disease.

APHIS announced Sept. 11 that bone-in ovine meat from Uruguay may be imported to the United States.

Uruguay requested an exemption from the current deboning requirements used to protect against foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in order to export bone-in lamb into the United States. After a comprehensive, science-based risk assessment, APHIS decided that bone-in ovine meat may be safely imported under certain conditions, while still protecting the United States from FMD. 

Uruguay will only be able to export meat from a select group of lambs. To mitigate the risk of FMD, these lambs must test negative for FMD, be separated from other FMD-susceptible animals after testing, and have individual animal identification as part of a national traceability system. 

The United States has safely imported boneless beef and lamb from Uruguay since 2003. The proposed rule was published on July 1, 2016 for a 60-day comment period. APHIS reviewed and carefully considered all 17 comments before making this final decision. 

This rule will be available in the Federal Register tomorrow at It may be viewed online at


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