Third Case Of Mad Cow Disease
Suspected In Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese authorities said on Saturday they believed they had discovered the country's third case of mad cow disease but would await the findings of an expert panel on Sunday before making a final determination.
The Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry said a Holstein dairy cow slaughtered in the city of Saitama, north of Tokyo, had tested positive in two tests for the brain-wasting disorder, formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).
Scientists believe that eating beef infected with BSE can infect humans with a variant of the illness, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), a fatal brain affliction.
In Europe, CJD has killed about 100 people. No one has died or fallen sick since Japan's first case -- the first outside Europe -- was reported on September 22, but beef sales in the country have fallen about 50 percent since then.
The cow in the latest case was slaughtered on Thursday for meat consumption.
Health authorities have ordered a quarantine of all other cows on the farm where the cow was raised, Kyodo News reported.
All cattle slaughtered in Japan have been tested for the disease since October 18.
It is not known how the cows became infected but scientists have linked the disease to meat-and-bone meal, a protein cattle feed made from the crushed internal organs, skin and bones of cows and other animals.
Agriculture Minister Tsutomu Takebe said on Friday it may take a long time for authorities to find the source of the disease.
"After seeing results of investigations conducted in Europe and other areas since the outbreak of mad cow disease in Japan, I cannot say confidently that there are no problems in how we are dealing with the situation," Takebe said.
Japan's first mad cow case was discovered on a farm in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo. The second, confirmed on November 21, was discovered on the northern island of Hokkaido.

This Site Served by TheHostPros