- Preliminary tests showed that three or four cows screened
in Tokyo and Aichi Prefecture indicated the presence of mad cow disease,
and a second test was being conducted to confirm the initial results, authorities
- Should the animals test positive in the second round
of testing -- whose results are expected as early as today -- a third and
final test will be conducted by a group of experts from the Health, Labor
and Welfare Ministry, as stipulated under new nationwide screening procedures
- Of the cows in question, two were checked at the Tokyo
Central Meat Wholesale Market and are being tested at an inspection center
in Yokohama, while the other one or two are being tested again in Kobe.
- All domestic cows slaughtered for human consumption are
now undergoing checks for the brain-wasting illness, or bovine spongiform
encephalopathy, in the wake of the discovery of the nation's first animal
with the disease -- a dairy cow on a farm in Chiba Prefecture -- in late
- Local testing centers continued to report mixed results
on the safety of domestic beef after the launch of the new system.
- The city of Yokohama said seven cows that tested positive
for mad cow disease the previous evening were all found negative in a second
- Followup tests on nine cows in Chiba Prefecture that
could not be confirmed negative in initial tests also showed they were
not infected with the brain-wasting disease, prefectural officials said.
- According to government officials, the first test conducted
on the cows -- called the Elisa method -- is less reliable than other methods,
but it is used because results can be obtained relatively quickly.
- The second test, the Western Blot method, is more definitive
but takes more time, experts say.
- Government authorities are now testing all of the roughly
1.3 million cows slaughtered each year for human consumption at 117 meat
hygiene inspection centers across the nation.
- A total of 796 cows had tested negative as of 6 p.m.
Thursday in preliminary checks for mad cow disease conducted by 68 local
governments, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.
- A further 208 cows were announced negative as of 8 p.m.
in preliminary checks by 13 local governments that released results independently
of the ministry.
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