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Japan Ends Mandatory Blanket BSE Testing

Cattle aged 21 months or older still being tested. Local governments will continue to test all animals. Compiled by staff

Published on: Aug 1, 2005

Japan will no longer require universal testing of all cattle for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). On Monday the nation dropped its national policy and will require checks to be conducted only on cattle that are 21 months or older, according to an article in Reuters.

All the local governments have decided to continue testing all cattle in their regions to maintain consumer confidence. These checks will be subsidized by the central government for a maximum of three years.

The rule change came about after pressure from the United States. Japan had initially insisted that U.S. conduct BSE testing on all cattle before Japan would resume trade. Slowly Japan has backed away from that requirement by changing its own policies.