Red meat consumers in Japan will once again find themselves treated to the taste of U.S. lamb and goat.

Japan has reopened its markets as of July 11. Imports of U.S. lamb and goat meat into Japan had been on hiatus following the BSE outbreak in the United States in 2003.

“When cattle BSE broke in 2003, Japan shut down all ruminant product trade,” explains American Sheep Industry (ASI) Executive Director Peter Orwick. “Lamb was essentially collateral damage from the beef BSE issue.”

Reintroducing American lamb

ASI led the effort to reintroduce American lamb into the Japanese market, a move Orwick says, “no one expected to take this long.”

USDA technical staff and Japanese authorities have devised new science-based...