Japan eyeing legislation to ban smuggling of wagyu genetic materials
Japan Times -- Jan 20
The agriculture ministry will propose a new law aimed at preventing the smuggling of genetic materials, such as fertilized eggs and semen, related to wagyu cattle to other countries.

The envisioned law allows requests for injunctions against improper trading of such genetic materials and, if deemed malicious, imposes criminal penalties.

The legislation is designed to protect the premium Japanese beef, which has grown popular in the United States, Europe and Asia, and to encourage exports of the beef.

The ministry plans to submit a bill to an ordinary session of the Diet, which starts Monday.

The new law will define the genetic features of wagyu, which Japanese farmers have been breeding over many years, as intellectual property, and will allow injunctions against reselling, siphoning and breeding them without proper contracts.

The regulation comes after an attempt to smuggle a massive amount of wagyu fertilized eggs into China came to light in 2018.

News source: Japan Times
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