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Planet Ark World Environment News Japan Confirms 15th Case of Mad Cow Disease

Date: 28-Feb-05
Country: JAPAN

The infection was confirmed in the carcass of an eight-year-old Holstein dairy cow on the northern island of Hokkaido, Kyodo news agency said.

The cow tested positive for the brain-wasting disease officially known as bovine spongiform encephalitis (BSE), which was first discovered in Japan in 2001. The government subsequently introduced testing for all cows slaughtered for food.

Japan banned imports of US beef after a case of mad cow disease was found in an animal in Washington state in 2003. Before the ban, Japan was the leading market for American beef exports, taking about $1.4 billion worth in 2003.

Japan also recently first confirmed its first case of the human variant of mad cow disease.

The government said a man died in December from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) after eating infected beef. Officials believe he contracted the disease in Britain.

No one was available for comment at Japan's Health or Agriculture Ministries on Saturday.

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Reuters
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