British ambassador well acquainted with bull semen export issue |

British ambassador well acquainted with bull semen export issue

Karen Pierce, the recently arrived ambassador of the United Kingdom to the United States, said today she is well acquainted with the importance of the export of British bull semen, which the British are expected to put on the agenda in trade talks with the Trump administration.

In 2015, in anticipation of the trade talks for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union, the British Embassy in Washington considered the question of bull semen exports so important that when the embassy arranged a tour of the United Kingdom and Brussels for reporters to learn about British priorities in the talks, it took the group to visit a farm in Northamptonshire to meet a farmer who produces prize bulls. The talks were later abandoned, but following its departure from the European Union the UK is now engaged in free trade talks with the United States.

Asked today in a call to reporters about whether bull semen may come up in the negotiations, Pierce, a career diplomat, said that on her first posting in Japan she had to go to the airport to receive shipments of bull semen and to take their temperature.

Pierce said that when she contemplated becoming a diplomat she never anticipated that picking up bull semen at an airport and checking its temperature would be among her duties, but the experience taught her “it is an important export for us.”

The importation of British bull semen has been banned in the United States since the advent of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease.

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