November 6, 2003



Japan To Finance Disposal of Cattle Feed Containing Banned Meat-And-Bone Meal


To ease consumer fears of domestic beef following this week's discovery of a cow infected with mad cow disease, the government proposed to financially support the disposal of cattle feed containing meat-and-bone meal (MBM), an ingredient whose sale was already banned.


A fixed amount will be paid by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to companies to cover part of the cost of incineration of cattle feed that includes MBM, which is believed to be behind the disease, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).


The budget for MBM disposal totals about 700 million yen (US$6.3 million). The ministry will provide up to 60 yen per kilogram of MBM-containing feed incinerated during the current fiscal year. It intends to incinerate all MBM-containing feed, which is about 14,000 tons stored by companies in Japan, before the fiscal year ends.


With the discovery of the BSE-infected cow in Hiroshima Prefecture, the ministry intends to boost its efforts to find routes of infection other than MBM.


If another route is discovered, the government will immediately discuss new measures, according to a ministry official.

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