Latest BSE-positive cow makes ten for Japan

February 23, 2004, Japan has confirmed its tenth case of mad cow disease, or BSE, since the disease was first discovered in the country in September 2001.

Health and agriculture ministries identified an eight-year-old Holstein cow from Kanagawa Prefecture, near Tokyo, as Japan’s first new case of BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) since November, reported Reuters.

Authorities are now trying to trace the history of the infected cow to ascertain its birthplace.

When BSE was first discovered in Japan in 2001, the beef industry was hit hard by a consumer backlash against its products. The industry has been struggling to regain consumer confidence in beef, but this has not been helped by the December discovery of a case of BSE in the US.

Japan immediately banned imports of US beef, but the US has been trying hard to persuade Japan, one of the main export markets for US beef, to lift the ban. In order to protect its beef industry, Japan has called for all US cattle to be tested for BSE, a request that the US has rejected.