FMD Halts Pork Exports From Japan

JAPAN - Japan suspended exports of beef, pork and related bi-products following a discovery of the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) on cattle farms in Miyazaki prefecture.
calendar icon 23 April 2010
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According to a report by Yomiuri Online, three Wagyu cattle at the farm had been confirmed as FMD-positive on 20 April. Subsequently, three more cases have been reported from neighbouring farms as of 22 April.

Having established an FMD control response headquarters to implement their Guidelines for specified livestock infectious disease control regarding FMD, Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) has been updating daily the status on its website since the outbreak.

Japanese beef exports (namely premium quality Wagyu beef) grew by 108 per cent in volume over the last two years, to 565 tonnes in 2009, valued at ¥3.78 billion (A$51 million, or an average of A$91 per kilo). Major export markets were Vietnam, Hong Kong and the US. Under the OIE (world animal health organization) rules, Japan can re-apply for FMD-free status three months after the slaughter of infected animals.

The last reported occurrence of FMD in Japan was in 2000 – both in Miyazaki and Hokkaido Prefectures. Miyazaki Prefecture is located on the island of Kyushu (the southern most of the four main islands of Japan), and Hokkaido is the northern island of Japan.

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