TOKYO, May 27 (Xinhua) -- Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said Thursday his government is committed to eradicating foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) which has ravished the premium beef industry in Miyazaki Prefecture in southern Japan.
"The government intends to work with parliament and the public to eliminate foot-and-mouth disease,'' the Japanese premier told reporters as prefectural officials struggle to contain the spread of the ferociously contagious disease.
On Wednesday the House of Representatives committee unanimously passed special legislation to enable the government to slaughter vaccinated livestock the numbers of which total upwards of 300,000 cows and pigs, according to prefectural officials in Miyazaki.
Following approved at the lower house, the special legislation will come into immediate effect.
According to the Miyazaki prefectural government the pre- slaughter vaccination of at-risk animals within a 10-kilometer radius of the more than 100 farms known to be infected has almost been completed.
Hatoyama said at a House of Councillors plenary session Wednesday that the central government will endeavor to support the prefecture's ailing cattle industry and such measures may include providing Miyazaki with state-owned seed bulls, as among 55 stud bulls, one top prize stud bull and 49 others have or will be culled to prevent the spread of the disease.