22 November 2001
Japan reports second BSE case

By FWi staff

A SECOND case of BSE has been confirmed in Japan, as ministers come under growing criticism for their handling of the issue.

The disease was found in an animal in the northern island of Hokkaido during routine testing of all slaughtered animals being sent for human consumption.

Japan reported its first case of the disease two months ago and afterwards introduced a stringent testing programme, reports the Financial Times.

More than 80,000 animals have been tested, but more than half were under 30 months old, below which age animals are believed not to show symptoms.

Japanese ministers have been criticised for failing to test fallen stock, not destined for human consumption, for the disease.

A lack of co-ordination between the ministries of agriculture and health, has further dented public confidence.

Since the scare began several companies have gone bankrupt and some popular yakiniku grilled beef restaurants have switched to yakitori – grilled chicken.

It is believed that BSE reached Japan through imports of meat and bonemeal from Britain or other European countries, reports the FT.