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Published August 23, 2011, 03:00 PM

Japanese prefecture seeks lifting of ban on cattle shipments

FUKUSHIMA, Japan — The Fukushima prefectural government on Monday called on the central government to lift its ban on cattle shipments from the prefecture, saying the cause of newly discovered cattle's radioactive contamination has been determined.

FUKUSHIMA, Japan — The Fukushima prefectural government on Monday called on the central government to lift its ban on cattle shipments from the prefecture, saying the cause of newly discovered cattle's radioactive contamination has been determined.

The government of Fukushima Prefecture, where the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is located, has reported that 12 cattle from the town of Namie, Fukushima Prefecture were found to be contaminated with radioactive cesium exceeding the government-set limit because they were fed cesium-tainted hay.

The central government decided Friday not to lift its ban on cattle shipments from Fukushima Prefecture at this time as contaminated beef from there has been newly detected. It did give the green light to shipments from Miyagi Prefecture, after initially planning to lift the ban on Fukushima and Miyagi simultaneously.

The farm that shipped the cattle in question said contaminated rice straw had not been fed to those cows as they were fed imported hay. That prompted the central government to quickly adopt the position the cause of the contamination must be determined before the ban on cattle shipments from Fukushima can be lifted.

According to the Fukushima government's investigation, the 12 cattle in question from Namie were raised in a cattle shed without side walls, thus allowing outdoor air to enter easily.

The livestock farmer in Namie fed imported hay left in an aisle of the cattle house after the eruption of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima power complex, triggered by the March earthquake and tsunami.

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