Published Date: 2002-05-18 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH> BSE - Japan (03): source
Archive Number: 20020518.4253
BSE - JAPAN (03): SOURCE
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 17 May 2002
Source: The Asahi Shimbun 13 May 2002 [edited and abriged]
4th case of BSE detected
According to the health ministry and other sources, the infected cow was a
female Holstein, born 6 years ago.
Veterinarians on Thu 09 May diagnosed the cow with a suspected case of
neural paralysis in the left front leg. After it was processed at a plant
in Kushiro on Fri 10 May, it tested positive in preliminary screening. The
infection was confirmed Sat 11 May at Obihiro University of Agriculture and
Japan's four infected cows are similar in some respects. They were all
older Holsteins, born between March and April 1996. Three were raised in
Hokkaido. The three cows confirmed infected between Sep and Nov 2001 were
raised on the same type of feed when they were calves. Scientists hope to
determine the source of the BSE infections by studying these similarities.
Date: 17 May 2002
Source: The Asahi Shimbun 15 May 2002 [edited]
Milk substitutes cited in BSE case
SAPPORO: The farmer who raised the Holstein that tested positive for mad
cow disease over the weekend fed his livestock the same milk substitutes
consumed by 3 other cattle infected with the brain-wasting ailment. The
farmer, from Onbetsu, Hokkaido, said he used milk substitutes produced at a
plant in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture. The same plant, run by Scientific Feed
Laboratory Co., made milk substitutes fed to the 3 cows previously
confirmed to have bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow
disease. However, the farmer said he is not sure if the Holstein, born in
1996, was actually given the product. The other infected cows were also
born in 1996.
The farmer's comments came up during a BSE investigation conducted by the
Onbetsu agricultural cooperative in Hokkaido, which sold the milk
substitutes to the farmer. In Sep 2001, when the first BSE case was
reported, the Hokkaido government asked all farmers about the conditions
surrounding their livestock. At that time, the Onbetsu farmer said no meat
and bone meal (MBM) -- the suspected cause of mad cow disease -- was being
used at his farm.
The milk substitutes in question are solid feed consisting of artificial
powdered skim milk, cattle fat, sugar and other ingredients. Government
experts say these products could be another source of BSE because infected
cows have been found in European countries that have banned MBM.
Specialists suspect the culprit is tallow because fat for animal feed
usually comes from livestock bones and other parts, and the milk
substitutes are manufactured at the same plant where MBM is produced. Fat
does not contain the abnormal prions that cause BSE, leading specialists to
speculate that protein remains from MBM manufacturing process were mixed
into the fat used to make milk substitutes.
According to an investigation by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and
Fisheries, the Takasaki plant has been using cattle fat imported from the
Netherlands, a nation that has experienced an outbreak of BSE. The ministry
said in Mar 2001 it cannot rule out the possibility that the Dutch fat was
the source of BSE in Japan.
Date: 17 May 2002
Source: Kyodo News, 17 May 2002
Ministry to launch intensive inspection of cows born in 1996
TOKYO: The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries plans to begin
an intensive inspection of cows born in Mar, Apr 1996 for signs of mad cow
disease, as the 4 infected cows so far found in Japan were born in the
[said] period, farm minister Tsutomu Takebe said Fri 17 May.
Takebe said his ministry hopes to begin the checks for bovine spongiform
encephalopathy (BSE) in Jun 2002, covering some 26 000 cows, at livestock
health centers in each prefecture. The government is also considering
investigations on other cattle that ate the same feed as the four infected
cows, he said, adding the feed was produced at a factory in Gunma Prefecture.
Date: 17 May 2002
Source: Kyodo News, 15 May 2002[edited]
All Japan's 4 BSE-infected cows fed same milk substitute
TOKYO: A farm cooperative in Ombetsu, eastern Hokkaido, said Wed 14 May
that a cow confirmed Mon 12 May to be infected with mad cow disease was fed
the same milk substitute when a calf -- as were 3 other cows also infected
with the disease in Japan.
The agricultural cooperative said all 4 cows in Japan so far confirmed as
having bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), had been fed milk substitute
produced by Scientific Feed Laboratory Co. in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture.
According to the cooperative, the farmer in Ombetsu started feeding the cow
with the milk substitute in 1996 when it was a week old.
[The Japanese BSE issue, causing significant economical losses might --
paradoxically -- have a positive impact upon the understanding of the
epidemiology of BSE. Investigations into the role of milk replacers in the
occurrence of BSE in Europe, including the "Born after Ban" (BAB) cases in
the UK, are being conducted in several countries; a detailed note of the
Danish Veterinary and food Administration was recently posted by
ProMED-mail (see ref). The incriminated substances might be tallow or
animal fats, included in such replacers which are usually fed to calves
during their first months.
The OIE international animal health code of the OIE, 2001, does not regard
tallow as a BSE risk material; according to article 184.108.40.206, "Regardless
of the BSE status of the exporting country, Veterinary Administrations
should authorize without restriction the import or transit through their
territory of ---3) protein free tallow (maximum level of insoluble
impurities of 0.15% in weight) and derivatives made from this tallow."
However, there is a growing concern about the possibility of such
ingredients being contaminated during their processing in slaughterhouses
and rendering plants. The European Commissioner for Health and Consumer
Protection, David Byrn, said in his speech to the Agriculture Council
(Brussels, 18 February 2002):"In December I spoke to you of the concerns
over the use of tallow in calf milk replacers. While the scientific
evidence does not suggest that a total ban is necessary, my personal
inclination is to go in this direction". Subsequently, the EU Scientific
Steering Committee has began discussing a new item -- "Quantitative
assessment of the risk of tallow and gelatine". The matter has been
discussed during the last two meetings of the Committee, 4-5 Apr and 16-17
May 2002. ProMED-mail will continue following this important issue. Mod.AS]