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MIYAZAKI (Kyodo) Miyazaki Gov. Hideo Higashikokubaru said Thursday he has asked the owner of six stud bulls to slaughter them as part of efforts to contain the foot-and-mouth epidemic that has crippled the prefecture’s premium beef industry.

The move came despite Higashikokubaru earlier resistance to the central government’s demand for disposing of the bulls. With or without Miyazaki’s consent, the central government had planned to force its demand on locals.

Higashikokubaru said the owner of the bulls was asked to respond by Friday afternoon.

In a related development, agriculture ministry officials said the Miyazaki Prefectural Government slaughtered a cow suspected of having foot-and-mouth disease in June without reporting it to the central government.

Miyazaki employees for livestock disease control had judged on-site that the cow was not infected with the epidemic. But a veterinarian who was present when the cow was killed told the ministry the cow showed symptoms that appeared to result from the disease, ministry officials said.

Eel importer raided

KYODO

Police raided sites related to an eel importer and an eel processing company Thursday on suspicion they labeled eels farmed in Taiwan as domestic.

Tokyo and Osaka police officers searched about 10 locations related to eel import and sales company Seiwafood Co. based in Tokyo and eel processing firm Daifuku Co. based in Osaka Prefecture.

Seiwafood allegedly sold about 1 ton of grilled eel imported from Taiwan to Daifuku from December to May and bought the fish back after Daifuku placed the product in cardboard boxes labeled as grilled eel farmed in Aichi Prefecture, the police said.

Seiwafood then allegedly sold the eel to a Kyoto wholesaler.

According to the Consumer Affairs Agency, Seiwafood is suspected of selling about 13 tons of falsely labeled eel to four companies in the Kansai and other regions.

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