Well, if I cannot bring you any new content of my own, I can at least bring you disease outbreak news from around the world. There is a current outbreak of foot-and-mouth in Japan causing wide-spread havoc with both the livestock it infects and the politicians charged with keeping them safe. A news article from here.
TOKYO, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Japan's Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Hirotaka Akamatsu, apologized Tuesday for the government's handling of the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in Miyazaki Prefecture, southern Japan, having previously said his conscience was clear. "I feel deeply sorry that it has spread this much," Akamatsu told a session of the House of Representatives committee on agriculture, forestry and fisheries. The farm minister, according to sources close to the matter, was forced to offer an official apology as the epidemic has caused damage to both livestock and the livelihoods of farmers in Miyazaki Prefecture, on a level not seen in Japan before. "I have done what was deemed necessary," said Akamatsu referring to the culling of more than 300,000 cows and pigs in the Miyazaki area and the government's decision to slaughter 49 stud bulls essential for the production of the region's lucrative, high-end Wagyu beef. With just five prized stud bulls left, the local livestock industry has been dealt a devastating hammer blow it may never fully recover from. Akamatsu, who took an overseas trip after the outbreak of the disease was announced, expressed his intention to fully investigate the government's handling of the outbreak and efforts to contain the spread of the disease, once the situation is fully under control. "It is necessary to examine if the handling was really appropriate," Akamatsu said in response to questions by an opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lawmaker. Akamatsu, who previously remarked he has "nothing at all to reflect on" over the issue, will face a no-confidence motion filed against him by the main opposition LDP as early as this week.

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27 May 2010