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Australia confirms Japan suspends some cattle imports for Johne's disease

MELBOURNE - Australia's federal agriculture department confirmed on Thursday that Japan has suspended some cattle imports after a number of cattle tested positive for Johne's disease.

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MELBOURNE - Australia's federal agriculture department confirmed on Thursday that Japan has suspended some cattle imports after a number of cattle tested positive for Johne's disease.

"The department is aware that Japanese authorities have announced that they will temporarily stop accepting feeder and breeder cattle from Australia in response to a number of cattle testing positive for Johne's disease in post arrival quarantine," a spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources said in an emailed statement.

"The department is investigating, to confirm that cattle were prepared according to the importing country requirements."

While Japan is Australia's second biggest market for beef, it is a small market for the country's live cattle exports. Australia mostly exports live cattle to South East Asia, with Indonesia the top destination.

Johne's disease is a contagious bacterial disease found in cattle that infects the small intestine and can be fatal to the animals.

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The department also said that it was working closely with the Japanese authorities.

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