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From: TSS ()
Subject: Japan finds 17th BSE case
Date: April 8, 2005 at 1:51 pm PST

JAPAN: Japan finds 17th BSE case

08 Apr 2005


Japan said it has confirmed its 17th case of mad cow disease in an animal, amid pressure from the United States to resume imports of its beef, the AFP news agency reported.

The four-and-a-half-year-old female Holstein was killed on Monday in the northern island of Hokkaido after it became unable to stand on its own, a classic symptom of the disease, the agency said, citing an agriculture ministry statement.

Japan is the only Asian country to have confirmed cases of BSE.

Japan uncovered its first case in September 2001 and soon afterwards introduced measures to screen every cow slaughtered for consumption.

The 17th case came as US lawmakers threaten sanctions on Japan unless it resumes buying American beef.

Japan halted imports of US beef in December 2003 after a cow infected with BSE was discovered in the US state of Washington. Before then, it was the top export market for US beef.

Japan has insisted it will wait for approval on how to test animals by its Food Safety Commission, a process which could take months.

The United States has also banned Japanese beef imports due to its mad cow cases.

In December, Japan suffered its first human fatality from mad cow, a man who is believed to have contracted the disease when eating meat in Britain in 1990.

TOKYO, April 8 (Xinhuanet) -- A four-and-a-half year-old Holstein cow has been diagnosed as the 17th case of mad cow disease in Japan, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry said Friday.

The cow had been kept in north Japan's Hokkaido region. It was born in September 2000, the year before feeding cows with meat-and-bone meals was banned due to fear of infection with bovine spongiform encephalopathy, the ministry said.

The cow was inspected after being suspected of BSE infection during preliminary tests on dead cows earlier this month and tested positive following examinations at the country's National Institute of Animal Health.

Of the 17 cases confirmed in Japan since September 2001, most cows were found to be born between February and April 1996. Enditem


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