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From: TSS ()
Subject: Japan confirms 20th case of mad cow disease
Date: June 6, 2005 at 6:22 am PST

Monday June 6, 2005
Japan confirms 20th case of mad cow disease

TOKYO (AP) - Japan has confirmed its 20th case of mad cow disease in a Holstein from northern Japan, the government said Monday.

Experts concluded that the 4-year, 9-month-old cow from Shikaoi town in northern Hokkaido prefecture (state) was infected with the brain-wasting illness after analyzing samples taken earlier this month, the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement.

"All meat, internal organs and parts from this cattle will be incinerated, and there is no danger that they will be circulated in the market,'' the ministry statement said.

Eating beef from an infected cow is thought to cause the fatal variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, or vCJD, in humans.

Japan has found 20 animals infected with the fatal illness - formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE - since the country's first case was detected in 2001. Tokyo has since checked every slaughtered cow before it enters the food supply.

Japan has banned American beef imports since December 2003, immediately after the U.S. first case of mad cow disease was confirmed in Washington state.

Under U.S. pressure, a Japanese government panel last month took a step toward partially lifting the ban, but the decision still has to be approved by the government.

In February, Japan confirmed its first case of vCJD in a man who died in December 2004. Japanese health authorities said they believed the man contracted the disease during a monthlong visit to Britain - where mad cow disease first surfaced - in 1989.-AP


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