Blanket tests for mad cow disease will end Sunday

Kyodo

Blanket testing for mad cow disease will end Sunday, 12 years after the program was started in October 2001 after Japan’s first case was found, the government said Friday.

Blanket testing “was significant for removing the people’s insecurity,” health minister Norihisa Tamura said. “As Japan has become one of the safest countries, the tests are no longer needed.”

The World Organization for Animal Health recognized Japan in May as having the lowest risk of mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

While the central government has gradually eased BSE testing requirements, 75 local governments have continued blanket tests.

Under a plan to raise the maximum age of cattle for testing from 30 months to 48 months Monday, the health ministry has asked these local governments to end blanket tests.

Chiba on Friday became the last prefecture to decide to terminate voluntary tests. Its program will run out at the end of this month.

As the maximum age is raised to 48 months, more than 80 percent of domestic cattle for slaughtering will be free from BSE testing requirements.

  • Al_Martinez

    “Under a plan to raise the maximum age of cattle for testing from 30
    months to 48 months Monday, the health ministry has asked these local
    governments to end blanket tests.”

    Great plan: don’t test for BSE and you won’t find it. I’ll only be eating Aussie beef, thank you. Blanket testing adds so little to the price, it’s criminal not to do it. But Japan, being America’s puppet, must fall in line for the TPP. I really hope some citizen groups organize and threaten to boycott Japanese beef–scare the local governments back into blanket testing.

    • Nathália Kneipp Sena

      They keep playing russian roulette and the number of CJD cases all over the world is on the rise…