Japan Culling Livestock to Contain FMD

May 16, 2010 07:00 PM

Beef Today Editors

A foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in Japan is forcing the govenment to cull hogs and cattle in an effort to keep the disease contained.

The government has ordered the destruction of 73,653 pigs in Miyazaki prefecture, about 0.7% of the national herd, according to Shinichi Igawa at the Japan's animal health division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. About 6,600 beef cattle and cows, or 0.1% of the national total, will also be slaughtered.

The foot-and-mouth outbreak, Japan's first since 2000, was detected on April 20 and has spread to 111 farms in Miyazaki in Japan's south. The outbreak, which started last month, has forced the cull of 49 breeding bulls, leaving just six to continue breeding a species of cattle that produces Wagyu beef..

The country's "Wagyu" cattle -- including beef from Miyazaki, Kobe and other grazing regions -- first caught the world's attention following reports the Kobe brand is pampered, fed beer and massaged daily, sometimes with sake, and sometimes even treated to classical music for relaxation.

Follow this link to read: Japan's Miyazaki beef threatened by foot-and-mouth

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