The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery of Japan has announced 85.7 billion yen in additional aid to deal with the problem of radioactive cesium being detected in beef in excess of provisional government limits.
One part of the aid is the payment of 50,000 yen per beef cow to help farmers. The government will bear the costs initially and later seek reimbursement from Tokyo Electric Power Co. Livestock farmers in 13 prefectures, including Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate, will be covered by the aid scheme. Beef cattle are suspected of having been fed contaminated rice straw in 17 prefectures overall. To help farmers pay for feed and other expenses, the ministry will provide 50,000 yen for each of the 460,000 beef cows bred in the 13 prefectures. It has marked 23.2 billion yen for this.
Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate prefectures have announced they will conduct radiation checks on all cattle. Shipments of beef cattle have been stopped in the meantime. The government will shoulder the cost of buying up beef cows that cannot be shipped even when their time arrives. The ministry has marked 37 billion yen for this measure.
In addition, the government will buy up beef from all 3,500 beef cows that have already been shipped out from the 17 prefectures, including Hokkaido.
As much of the beef has already been consumed, the ministry anticipates the buy-up will encompass 378 tons from about 1,200 cows.
Source: Japan Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery