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Gov't to compensate farmers for losses due to foot-and-mouth disease

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The farm ministry on Friday unveiled the government's additional measures over the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in Miyazaki Prefecture to compensate farmers for slaughtered cows and pigs at market values, rather than uniform rates as initially planned.

The government will also shoulder the cost of feed for the domesticated animals until their slaughter.

In Saito, Miyazaki, a cow suspected to be infected with the disease was found at a farm, the municipal office said. If the infection is confirmed in tests, it means the disease has spread to two cities and four towns in the prefecture.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries also decided to pay farmers 59,000 yen for each slaughtered cow as financial support for them until resumption of their operations and to pay farmers for rents of land lots used to bury the slaughtered livestock.

Farmers will also receive the state subsidy to lease cows and pigs when they restart their work.

While farm minister Hirotaka Akamatsu told a press conference Friday morning that he would like to begin vaccination on the same day, senior vice farm minister Masahiko Yamada said in Miyazaki that it would be difficult to start it Friday as no agreement has been reached with the local authorities.

Meanwhile, the Japanese government has declined a proposal by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization to send an expert team to contain the escalating infection in Miyazaki.

Japan told the Rome-based FAO through the Japanese Embassy there that Japan would like to continue taking proper advice from FAO.

(Mainichi Japan) May 21, 2010

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