Japan Looking to Change BSE Testing Age

Reports indicate Japan may be willing to require testing of cattle over 20 months instead of blanket testing. Compiled by staff

Published on: Jul 12, 2004

While in the United States, Japan began to back down from demanding all U.S. cattle be tested for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) before Japan would resume trade with the U.S. New reports indicate Japan says testing only animals 20 months or older may be sufficient.

Approximately 80% of the cattle in the United States are slaughtered before reaching 20 months old. Since a 21-month old cow has been found in Japan to have BSE, Japan does not plan to raise the testing age any above that number.

According to the Japan Times, an expert committee of Japan's Food Safety Commission is expected to hold a meeting July 16 to discuss cutting back the number of cattle tested.