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Japan could introduce a total ban as early as Monday on imports of meat-and-bone meal, an animal feed suspected of transmitting mad cow disease, the nation’s agriculture minister said Friday.

“We are holding discussions with other ministries on matters including whether it would be possible to implement a ban (on Monday),” Tsutomu Takebe told reporters following a Cabinet meeting. Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry sources said, however, that the ban could actually take effect several days later than Monday considering the time needed to make adjustments with countries that export the meal.

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