The first consignment of UK Texel semen to be shipped to the USA since the reopening of exports to the country late last year, is on its way.

Semen from rams from both the Laird family's Cambwell flock, Biggar, and Ian Murray’s Glenway flock, Wooler, has been collected for export following enquiries from breeders in the US.

Mr Murray said his part of the deal came about partly by chance as an American breeder was in the UK looking at cattle and expressed an interest in seeing Texels too.

“A local cattle dealer was acting as their guide, so brought them out to see our Texels and it went from there.

“They were looking for sheep in the top 1% of the breed for performance and also ARR/ARR for scrapie. With rams having to be quarantined for 120 days before semen could be collected as well as passing TB and other health tests it certainly wasn’t straight forward.”

Semen heading to the USA is from Glenway Yellowstone and Glenway Yosemite as well as Cambwell Trademark and Grougfoot Wizard. The deal follows on from exports to New Zealand earlier this year.

British Texel Sheep Society chief executive John Yates said the exports were another milestone in the breed’s history in the UK.

“British Texel genetics have been exported across much of the world, with the breed’s exceptional performance potential, allied with its ability to finish easily off forage and its overall adaptability and versatility making it a firm favourite with breeders across the globe."

Exports to Europe have also progressed well this summer with animals travelling to France and Belgium from the Teilo flock of the Davies family.

Heading to France to join the Elevage Picand, Clermont, was Teilo Auvergne, a son of Poseyhill Young Icon out of a Crewburn Silver Spur dam, while Teilo Ardennes Classique headed to the Elevage Robert flock in Belgium. He is by Milnbank Wisconsin.

In addition, Swedish breeder Maycon Vinborg was present at the Scottish National Sale, Lanark, where he bought a number of rams for export to Sweden both for his own use and for other clients.