A case of BSE had been discovered in Hokkaido, northern Japan. Officials announced that a 64-month-old Holstein cow that died in January was infected with the disease. The Agriculture Ministry said that the carcase would be destroyed, reassuring consumers that it had not entered the food chain. The news comes just days after Japan reintroduced a ban on imports of beef from the US after prohibited spinal material, believed to present a higher risk of carrying BSE, was discovered in a shipment of US beef.