Cattle farmers marched into the centre of Tokyo on Wednesday, hoping to urge the Japanese government to up its efforts to boost beef consumption.

Consumers have turned away from beef in their droves in the wake of the discovery of BSE in the national herd last September, and the more recent meat-labelling scandal involving Snow Brand Foods and a major Japanese supermarket.

More than 100 livestock farmers from the Kumamoto Prefecture, in south west Japan, took part in the demonstration.