August 20, 2011


Japan keeps cattle ban on Fukushima; green light for Miyagi


Japan announced Friday (Aug 19) to keep its ban on cattle shipments from Fukushima Prefecture in place after excessive radioactive cesium has been newly detected in the local beef, while approving shipments from Miyagi Prefecture.


The government had initially planned to lift the ban for Fukushima, where the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is located, along with Miyagi.


The government instructed Miyagi, Fukushima, Iwate and Tochigi prefectures to ban cattle shipments between July and early August and Miyagi is the first to be allowed to resume them.


The lifting of the ban for both Miyagi and Fukushima was expected following the compilation of cattle inspection programmes and measures to manage radioactive rice straw, which was fed to cattle in the region despite a government notice urging farms not to use it as livestock feed.


When the ban is lifted, farms will be able to restart cattle shipments once the prefectural governments ascertain that radioactive cesium contained in beef from their cattle measures below 500 becquerels per kilogramme, a provisional safety limit set by the government.


On July 19, the government instructed the Fukushima government to halt cattle shipments from the prefecture and instructed the Miyagi government on July 28 to do the same.

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