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Japan mulls measures to track wagyu gene transactions

  • June 27, 2019
  • , Jiji Press , 00:53 a.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, June 26 (Jiji Press)–A panel of experts commissioned by the Japanese agriculture ministry on Wednesday called for requiring records for the distribution of fertilized eggs and semen taken from “wagyu” Japanese beef cattle.

The proposal followed the discovery last year of illegal exports of wagyu genetic material from Japan to China.

The ministry aims to submit legislation to revise the Act on Improvement and Increased Production of Livestock to parliament in the autumn to put the mandatory recording into place next year.

Current regulations require wagyu genetic material to be sold only through artificial insemination centers authorized by prefectural governments. However, some farmers sell genetic material directly to resellers.

The proposal calls for requiring artificial insemination centers to record birthdates of cattle on the tubes that contain genetic material. The centers would also be required to make records of the farmers to whom they sell fertilized eggs and sperm.

The requirements are expected to make it easier to track down transaction routes.

The maximum fine for illegal genetic material transactions would be also raised from one million yen at present.

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