The Tokyo metropolitan government said Saturday that elevated levels of radioactive cesium were detected in a herd of cattle from Fukushima prefecture, marking the first time that radiation has been found in domestic livestock since the start of the nuclear crisis in March.

The level of radioactive cesium detected in the group of 11 cattle exceeded Japan's safety standards by three to six times.

All cattle originated from the same farm in Minamisouma, which is in close proximity to Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s stricken Daiichi nuclear plant. None of the cattle in question were made available to consumers.

According to a representative at Fukushima Prefecture government's livestock division, the cattle came from the 20-30-kilometer evacuation preparation zone in Fukushima and had gone through and passed the mandatory screening test before shipment. The Fukushima government screening, however, was conducted before slaughtering and therefore only tested for external exposure, while the cesium found this time was on the actual meat after the cattle were processed in Tokyo.

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