Not even half-Scottish US President Donald Trump will be able to tuck into an authentic haggis this year as the 45-year ban on haggis imports continues.
Trump will be amongst the roughly 10 million Americans that claim Scottish heritage deprived of their national dish on the 258th birthday of Robert Burns.
The US Department for Agriculture ruled that “livestock lungs shall not be saved for use as human food” back in 1971. During the UK’s “mad cow disease” outbreak, imports of British lamb were also banned when a possible link between Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and BSE was considered to be a risk in the late 1990s.
A traditional haggis recipe makes use of sheep’s “pluck”, principally heart, liver and lungs, combined with oatmeal, spices, salt and encased in animals’s stomach.
“Consider it done,” was Trump’s response to a hotelier’s question about removing the ban after he came to office.
Ranald Macdonald, Manager of London’s Boisdale restaurant told City AM “I am extremely confident that the US ban on haggis will be lifted as I gather, from unreliable sources, that President Trump is adamant that this nutritious and delicious national dish of his ancestors should be a permanent fixture on the menu at the White House!”
Last year, Scottish officials reported that negotiations to end the import ban had reached a “significant milestone”. A new rule lifting the ban on Scottish lamb is believed to be up for consideration in June this year, but the US Department for Agriculture is yet to give an exact date.
The resumption of haggis exports to the US after almost half a century could be a multi-million pound opportunity for Scottish producers, though it may be the case that the exported haggis has a slightly modified recipe, leaving out the parts of the traditional pudding that don’t match US law.
As well as having family heritage in Scotland, Trump has made considerable investments in the Scottish tourist industry.
Yesterday, Trump resigned as the director of four Scottish golf and tourism firms, the most significant of which are his golf resorts in Aberdeenshire and Ayrshire. The two complexes are believed to have an estimated value of £180m.
Trump's mother, Mary Anne Macleod, hailed from the island of Lewis on Scotland’s west coast and emigrated to the States in 1930s, becoming a US citizen in 1942.