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Tuesday, 18th May 2010
In Events In Japan,

Foot and mouth hits southern Japan

A state of emergency has been declared in parts of Japan after an outbreak of foot and mouth disease hit the nation.

So far, more than 126 pig, cattle and other livestock farms in the Miyazaki prefecture have been found to be infected by the disease, which wreaked havoc in the agricultural sector in the UK in 2001.

According to a report in Kyodo News, some 114,000 animals are set to be slaughtered. Local news source the Asahi newspaper reported that 49,000 have already been killed.

Commenting on the outbreak, prime minister Yukio Hatoyama said: "As greater concerns are arising over the spread of foot and mouth disease, this is a very important issue in terms of crisis management," the newspaper said.

However, a report on ABC Australia suggests that despite the outbreak, there are as yet no signs of Japanese customers steering clear of beef. Glen Feist, from Meat and Livestock Australia's Japan office, told the source that there is no evidence of a drop in consumer demand.

Written by Kimberley Homer.

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