In a copyrighted story today, the Associated Press is reporting that Japanese officials have confirmed BSE in the first beef cow to be infected in that country.

The previous 23 cases were all in dairy cattle.

The AP said an official of the Japanese Health Ministry announced today that a 14-year-old cow went down this month, calved and then was sent to a meat processing plant for testing. Preliminary tests were positive.

The unnamed official said that all body parts from the cow have been destroyed, the AP said.

The AP article quotes USDA spokesman Ed Loyd as saying the case won't affect U.S. trade with Japan.

"Just as we ask our trading partners to follow scientific guidelines for the safe trade of beef products, we do the same," Loyd said, according to the AP. "We've gone through extensive risk analysis to determine how to safely trade beef products with Japan."

The AP story said that "after confirming its first case of mad cow disease in 2001, Japan began testing every domestically slaughtered cow entering the market and banned the use of meat-and-bone meal made from ruminant animal parts because they could transmit the disease."

In February, however, it turned out that a cow that died of BSE at a different location had been fed meat-and-bone meal. Authorities ordered the slaughter of 45 other cows as a precaution at the farm in Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido, the AP said.

SOURCE: Copyrighted Associated Press story.