First nationwide exercise to tackle foot-and-mouth disease

Tokyo: Japan conducted a nationwide tabletop exercise on Friday to learn how to prevent the spread of foot-and-mouth disease.

The farm ministry and all the 47 prefectural governments of the country were part of this exercise which was prompted after Miyazaki Prefecture was hit by the epidemic earlier this year and fears were raised of a possible nationwide outbreak of the disease.

Under the scenario that foot-and-mouth disease is detected at a farmhouse in each prefecture, the participants in the exercise checked the number of livestock around the
affected homestead and how many animals should be destroyed and located sites where they should be buried.

They also mulled where they should set up sterilization points in order to prevent the spread of the disease, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

A meeting will be convened by the end of October to study the lessons of the exercise, the ministry said. Plans to hold such exercises every year are also on the anvil.


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