Fifteen prefectures across Japan are in the process of implementing or are planning to implement checks on all beef cattle for radioactive substances.
The prefectural governments and agricultural organisations in the prefectures are taking the measures as fear of beef contaminated with radioactive cesium spreads across the nation. Around 3,000 cattle from Tohoku and neighbouring areas have been shipped to most parts of Japan after being fed rice straw contaminated by radioactive cesium spewed from the plant. Some of the meat from the cattle has been consumed.
The implementation of the checks faces problems such as a shortage of equipment and staff. As a result, the number of cattle shipped from the prefectures will inevitably decline. Of the prefectures that plan or have begun the checks on all cattle, the Shizuoka and Ishikawa prefectural governments said it remains uncertain whether they have the capability to conduct the checks on all cattle. In the other 13 prefectures, meat processing plants can process about 2,200 cows a day. But they can only check 600 of the cows a day for radiation.
Source: Japan Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery