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A dairy cow raised in Hokkaido has tested positive for mad cow disease, making it the 26th case in Japan, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry said Saturday.

The female Holstein, which was 5 years, 8 months old and raised on a farm in the town of Imakane, died Wednesday, the ministry said.

The carcass will be incinerated.

The animal was born in August 2000 before the 2001 implementation of a ban on meat-and-bone meal, a suspected cause of the disease.

The cow had been suspected of being infected during a preliminary check by a livestock hygiene service center in Hokkaido.

It tested positive in further testing by the National Institute of Animal Health.

Beef talks on Tuesday

WASHINGTON (Kyodo) Japan and the United States will begin talks Tuesday in Tokyo to discuss what further steps need to be taken to resume American beef imports, a U.S. Department of Agriculture official said Friday.

During the three days of senior-level talks, the U.S. will present a report on recent inspections of its meatpackers to check their handling of products and compliance with export requirements to safeguard against mad cow.