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The agriculture ministry will undertake an experiment in fiscal 2018 to create an integrated communications system for managing information on game or fowl, in order to encourage people to eat wild meat without concern.

The system traces the entire process from the capture of wild animals to processing and selling their meat. Making the process more transparent may put consumers’ minds at ease about food safety, ministry officials said.

The experiment will be conducted at about 12 locations nationwide. The ministry will provide local governments concerned with financial assistance to cover half of the related costs, the officials said.

Based on the food labeling act, labels on game meat and related products currently show information on the facilities where they were processed. As the labels do not mention when and where the game was caught, however, some consumers have voiced concerns about potential mystery meat contained in the products.

In the test, the ministry will support the installation of the integrated communications system that notifies the hunter’s mobile phone when a wild animal or bird is caught in a trap or when automatic doors close after game enters cages, the officials said. The ministry will provide financial aid for local governments to introduce meat-processing facilities and vehicles serving as mobile slaughterhouses, they said.

Using this equipment and facilities, data, including the time and date when the game was caught, and when and where it was slaughtered and processed, will be sent to a cloud storage system, they said.

The ministry plans to use the existing tracking system, which manages beef and pork distribution information, to transmit data on processed game meat to retailers.

Through these processes, quick response, or QR codes, will be put on the labels for game meat products, enabling consumers to access information, including on the type of animal, when and where it was caught, how it was caught, gender, weight, age and date of slaughter, they said.

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