Here’s What US Animal Parts Some Countries Ban

April 30, 2015 Updated: October 8, 2018

The United States exported more than $150 billion worth of agricultural exports last year, according to statistics released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The world’s largest economy has trade relations with over 100 foreign nations, each with different rules for what kinds of agricultural goods the U.S. can or cannot export. Especially when it comes to meat and poultry products, there are regulations and rules aplenty.

But some of them can be quite unexpected. Take Mexico, for example, which forbids the export of “pork carcasses (whole or split) with feet attached,” according to the USDA’s list of U.S. export requirements.

Taiwan allows suckling pigs weighing up to 8 kilograms (or a little more than 17 pounds), but they cannot have entrails left in them.

Wild boars are welcomed in Hong Kong, while Japan permits American pork placentas. The placentas are used to make a popular drink that purportedly has health benefits.  

Meanwhile, Argentina only allows one type of U.S. meat product: pork pancreas glands for use in pharmaceuticals. But no other poultry, beef, sheep, or pork parts are allowed.

Brazil also has tight restrictions on what is allowed into their borders. Allowed are meat products used for “pharmaceutical or other industrial purposes,” meat used for airline meals, rendered animal fat (typically used to make soaps and candles), pork casings (a layer of the intestine used to encase sausages), and lamb casings imported from New Zealand. But not allowed are your typical chicken and pork products.

Luckily for the U.S., the European Union is quite generous, allowing in the commonly consumed meats, wild game, and even such unconventional animal products like “meat powder, powdered rind, salted or dried blood, salted or dried blood plasma.”

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