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Published August 24, 2011, 11:06 AM

Japan may lift cattle shipment ban for 3 regions

TOKYO — The government may lift its ban on cattle shipments from Fukushima, Iwate and Tochigi prefectures on Thursday as measures to protect the livestock from radioactive contamination have been compiled, government sources said Wednesday.

TOKYO — The government may lift its ban on cattle shipments from Fukushima, Iwate and Tochigi prefectures on Thursday as measures to protect the livestock from radioactive contamination have been compiled, government sources said Wednesday.

If realized, cattle shipments will have been resumed in all of the four prefectures, also including Miyagi, subject to the restrictions after the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant triggered by the March earthquake and tsunami. A similar ban in Miyagi was lifted Friday.

The government is considering allowing the restart of cattle shipments in the three prefectures as the Iwate and Tochigi prefectural governments have come up with quality control plans, the sources said.

Fukushima had been expected to see the ban lifted on Friday along with Miyagi, but the government decided not to lift it as contaminated beef from there had been newly detected.

Livestock farmers that had transported tainted cattle will be required to conduct a blanket test, and other farmers will need to check more than one cow on a regular basis for radioactive contamination. Only farmers whose cattle are confirmed to be safe can resume shipments, the sources said.

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