TOKYO (AP) — Japan has declared an end to a foot-and-mouth disease epidemic, which resulted in the slaughter of nearly 290,000 cows and pigs.
The outbreak began in Miyazaki, southern Japan, in April. Miyazaki Gov. Hideo Higashikokubaru said Friday authorities have completed measures to wipe out the virus.
Miyazaki's beef industry produces "wagyu" cattle, which are world-famous for intricate marbling and tenderness.
FMD quickly shuts down export trade and causes disruptions in the domestic markets of infected countries as well. While the FMD virus causes lesions inside the hoofed-animals’ mouths and hooves, humans cannot get infected from eating contaminated meat. There have been rare cases of transmission from direct contact with sick animals.
Miyazaki authorities have estimated economic damages from the outbreak — Japan's first since 2000 — will amount to 235 billion yen ($2.8 billion U.S.).
Source: The Associated Press.