- (AFP) - Japan's second case of mad cow disease was
at a meeting of veterinary experts convened by the health ministry, a panel
- "Our final assessment is that it was a case of
Shimpei Ozaki, head of the health ministry's food sanitation division,
said referring to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow
- The health, labor and welfare ministry said earlier it
had found the second suspected case at a meat inspection center in
Japan's northernmost island, during mandatory tests of slaughtered animals
sparked by the discovery of the first BSE case in September.
- The ministry said the second animal was a five-and-a-half
year old Holstein dairy cow killed on November 19 and screened using the
Elisa testing method the same day, showing positive for BSE.
- A second analysis earlier Wednesday with the more
Western Blot test was also positive, the ministry said, prompting an
of the findings by a health ministry research team for a definitive
- Health minister Chikara Sakaguchi issued a statement
immediately after the announcement in a bid to reassure the public that
the government's safeguard measures were working effectively.
- "This cow is due to be totally incinerated so that
I hope you will feel secure," Sakaguchi said.
- "We will continue to do everything possible, in
cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, to
keep meat safe to be eaten and alleviate anxiety among the
- Even before the panel of experts released their findings,
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi seemed to accept that BSE was as good
- "We must find out the cause and investigate the
route of infection and do our utmost not to let rumours damage,"
told reporters before Ozaki's announcement.
- In September, the Japanese government announced that
a Holstein dairy cow raised at a farm east of Tokyo, but born in Hokkaido,
had tested positive for BSE, sending beef consumption plunging across the
- Nearly 60 percent of Japanese stopped eating beef after
the first case of BSE was reported, according to a poll by the private
Japan Research Center in October.
- Mandatory screening of all slaughtered cows for BSE began
in October and thousands of tons of meat from untested animals has been
removed from the food chain.
- Japan banned all sales of meat and bonemeal (MBM)
-- believed to be the transmission route for BSE infection -- on October
4 after admitting in September it could not guarantee that meal processed
from the cow diagnosed with BSE had not re-entered the food chain.
- The unidentified farmer who raised the cow was quoted
by Jiji Press as saying he never fed meat and bone meal to the cows.
- Since the first case of BSE was diagnosed in Japan, at
least six countries -- the United States, Malaysia, the Philippines, South
Korea, Singapore and Taiwan -- have banned Japanese beef.
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