Published Date: 2002-08-22 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> BSE - Japan (04)
Archive Number: 20020822.5112
BSE - JAPAN (04)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002
From: ProMED-mail <email@example.com>
Source: AP Online 22 Aug 2002 [edited]
More Mad Cow [Disease] Suspected in Japan
Japan discovered a fifth suspected case of mad cow disease Thu, 22 Aug 2002,
reviving fears that the government has failed to stem the disease since an
outbreak late last year.
Despite government assurances that homegrown beef is safe to eat, the news
that another cow may be infected comes just 3 months after Japan confirmed
its fourth case of the deadly, brain-wasting illness. The 6-year,
8-month-old Holstein dairy cow tested positive for the disease during a
regular inspection by health officials in Atsugi city, west of Tokyo, local
government spokesman Hideya Inomata said.
Samples of the cow's brain and spinal cord were sent to a government
research center, which will run more precise tests to finally determine
whether the cow is infected. The rest of the animal's carcass was being held
in cold storage until the tests come back, as early as Fri 22 Aug 2002, he
Since Tokyo began regular screening of all cattle bound for human
consumption last October , 95 cows have turned up positive in
preliminary tests, Inomata said. But only 3 of those tests were confirmed in
follow-up examinations. Still, the possibility of another infected animal
among the 4.56 million cows nationwide generated immediate concern.
In September 2001, Japan became the first country to find a diseased cow
outside of Europe, where the disease has devastated cattle farmers. Two
other cows tested positive in Nov 2001, and a fourth case was confirmed May
Tokyo has tried to reassure a jittery public that the country's beef stocks
are free of the tainted meat. On Thursday, the Agriculture Ministry was
considering continuing testing cows through the next fiscal year, beginning
in Apr 2003. More than 1 million cows nationwide have already been tested.
So far the tests have failed to assuage concerns, with surveys after the
outbreak late last year suggesting that as many as one in 4 Japanese had
stopped eating beef.
Japan has banned the use of meat-and-bone meal as cattle feed, in addition
to its extensive screening of slaughtered cattle.
Date: Thu 22 Aug 2002
From: ProMED-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Source: ABC news,Reuters, 22 Aug 2002 [edited]
Japan Confirms 5th Case of Mad Cow Disease
Japan's Health Ministry confirmed a 5th case of mad cow disease on Thu, 22
Aug 2002, rekindling a health scare that has devastated its food and
livestock sector and shaken consumer confidence, Final tests on a
6-year-old dairy cow slaughtered near Tokyo came up positive for the
brain-wasting disease, a ministry official said.
The ministry will hold a meeting of animal-health experts on Friday to
review the results for official confirmation.
Since October 2001, Japan has screened all cows slaughtered for beef for the
disease. The first case in Japan -- and Asia -- was found in September 2001.
The health scare has devastated Japan's appetite for beef, battered earnings
of food companies and restaurants and shattered faith in the country's
[The Japanese government had to deal with a complex situation following the
discovery, in 2001, of the first case of BSE; several deficiencies were
discovered and reported to be under correction. Blaming the government for
the current case seems unjustified: the 6-year-old cow had been infected at
least 5 years ago. Rather, the Japanese authorities are to be commended for
the current diagnosis, which is a result of the implementation of an
extensive BSE surveillance and control programme. It will be interesting to
be updated about the results of the epidemiological investigations on this
case, with special reference to the feeding of the cow during her first
months, and the source of the used calf-milk-replacer. Our readers may
remember that all first 4 cases in Japan are said to have been fed with a
calf milk-replacer from a common source. A Japanese delegation has recently
visited The Netherlands concerning the animal fat included in milk-replacers
used in Japan; the results of that visit have not been disclosed. - Mod.AS].