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On March 13, Miyazaki prefectural government officials detected symptoms of an outbreak of hoof-and-mouth disease, a virus-induced ailment that can be fatal to livestock, but it is not communicable to humans.
Hoof-and-mouth disease causes blisters to form on animals' hooves and in their mouths, leading to a loss of appetite and eventually death.
The last time an outbreak of hoof-and-mouth disease occurred in Japan was in 1908, when it was reported in the Kansai and Chugoku regions in western Japan.
The cattle, which have been destroyed, were probably infected with the virus through humans or through feed from other cattle previously found to have hoof-and-mouth disease, officials of the Miyazaki prefectural government's stock-breeding section said.
Earlier, the Singapore government banned the import of beef from Japan with immediate effect due to the suspected outbreak of hoof-and-mouth disease there, Singapore's state-run television station said.
We will also continue to monitor the situation in local farms and provide advice for local farmers on the prevention of hoof-and-mouth disease," a spokesman for the department said in a statement.
The Agriculture Ministry on Wednesday ordered the disinfection of all fodder straw imported from China in connection with a suspected outbreak of hoof-and-mouth disease, a virus-induced ailment that can be fatal to livestock, in Miyazaki Prefecture.
Taiwan alleged Friday that cattle on the offshore island of Quemoy found to be infected with hoof-and-mouth disease were smuggled in from China.