The U.S. government recently banned shipments of beef from Japan following an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in cattle in the southern prefecture of Miyazaki. USDA banned imports of boneless Japanese beef on April 21.
Beef valued at $6 million was sold by Japan to the U.S. in 2009.
All pigs, beef cattle and dairy cows in areas where most cases of the disease were discovered will be culled, raising the figure by about 205,000, from 118,160 animals as of yesterday, Agriculture Minister Hirotaka Akamatsu told reporters in Tokyo today. The government will vaccinate them before slaughter to slow the spread of the virus, he said.
Foot-and-mouth disease is a severe, highly contagious viral disease of cattle and swine. It also affects sheep, goats, deer and other cloven-hooved ruminants. FMD is not a threat to people and no human health risks are associated with the disease.