reports the young animal thought to have bovine spongiform encephalopathy tested negative on confirmatory tests.
The 20-month-old Japanese steer would have been the youngest animal ever identified with the disease. Japan leaders hinted if the case was confirmed rules for imports of U.S. beef might have been made even stricter. The current age limit is 21 months and younger.
Japan is testing another suspected case of BSE in a six-year-old dairy cow. Confirmatory tests are expected as early as Wednesday.