In repose to the confirmation of a second case of BSE in Japan on Wednesday, the agriculture ministry attempted to allay consumer fears by pledging to slaughter and incinerate 5,100 cows that may have been fed with ground animal parts (meat and bone meal).

The government also has requested that domestic food manufacturers recall goods produced using beef extract.

Satoshi Maema, an official at the ministry's Animal Health Division, said that the measures could be implemented nationwide next week, marking the first time whole cattle herds have been destroyed since the first case of mad cow disease was detected in a five-year-old dairy cow in September.