A Japan government survey found Japanese consumers regard beef traceability as important and necessary, Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) reports.

Japan's domestic traceability program was enacted in December 2004 and allows consumers to trace individual cattle information by accessing a designated Web site and entering a 10-digit ID code included on retail packaging labels. Information provided on domestically produced beef includes: date and place of birth, sex, type of cattle, and when/where it was slaughtered.

The survey found 35% of respondents are “familiar with the traceability system,” while a majority (81%) believes the current required system should be continued, with 41% citing the program as useful in preventing the spread of BSE. But few people (only 6% of total respondents) actually utilized the ID program's Internet service to check on the ID numbers.