Scottish sheep farmers have exported North Nation Cheviot semen to the US for the primary time in additional than 30 years.

The US lifted its ban on UK beef and lamb imports in September 2021. It had been in place since 1989 over issues concerning an outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), and prolonged not solely to meat, however to semen and embryos too.

Two high Scottish breeders – Roderick Runciman of the well-known Allanshaws flock, and Andrew Polson of the Smerlie flock – have been each chosen to export the semen.

Andrew had been contacted by farmers stateside straight.

“I used to be contacted straight by a breeder within the states whose grandfather was from Caithness,” he mentioned.

“He had studied agriculture at college in Scotland, too, and visited gross sales in Caithness, so he knew what he was in search of.

“That they had seen a few of my sheep and Roderick’s sheep go into the sale ring and due to that we have been requested to produce semen.”

Each breeders put 4 rams ahead which have been rigorously examined earlier than being allowed to offer semen. This course of, which took nearly a yr, was managed by AB Europe. It concerned every ram being positioned into isolation and present process a spread of exams.

Roderick mentioned his rams – Sebay Excitable, Pengreos Xcalibre, Allanshaws XR3, and Allanshaw ACDC – have been all confirmed sires and handed the exams with flying colors.

His 750 North Nation Cheviot ewes scan between 190-200% and are able to elevating two lambs – even at heights of as much as 1,400ft on his farm within the Scottish borders.

Commenting on his best sort, Roderick mentioned: “I like them to be eye-catching and I attempt to take care of their our bodies, too. That’s the fundamentals.

“Plenty of people purchase a tup to breed a tup. However I purchase a tup to breed females. Females will breed a tup. All the time maintain the females proper as they’re the muse of each flock.”

Andrew runs 200 purebred ewes and sells shearling rams and gimmers at Caithness and Lockerbie.

The rams he put ahead to donate semen are Smerlie Ambassador, Smerlie Admiral, Smerlie Whisky and Cairnside Brightspark.