JAPAN - Livestock raised by more than 10 farmers in Miyazaki Prefecture had been infected with foot-and-mouth disease before the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry detected the first infection case on April 20, according to a ministry expert team.
According to the team, led by Tomoyuki Tsuda, head of the Department of Planning and General Administration of the National Institute of Animal Health, the first infection is now confirmed to have been at a water buffalo farm in Tsunocho in the prefecture in mid-March. The Tsunocho case initially was thought to have been the sixth of its kind. The team believes effective initial response measures against the disease were stymied as a result of the detection delay of the real first case.
The team researched all 292 Miyazaki Prefecture farmers whose livestock were infected to find the routes and timelines of the infection by conducting antibody tests and other methods. An interim report will be compiled in mid-August.