Police have arrested a cattle farmer in Tokushima Prefecture, western Japan, in connection with the attempted smuggling of premium wagyu beef cattle eggs to China.
Earlier this month, police arrested Yusuke Maeda, a restaurant owner in Osaka, for trying to take about 360 straw-like containers with fertilized eggs and sperm of wagyu beef cattle to China last June, without going through quarantine inspections.
On Wednesday, police also arrested the cattle farmer, Tetsuyuki Matsudaira, for selling fertilized eggs and sperm, even though he knew they would be taken to China. A police source says the suspect has denied the charges.
Matsudaira told NHK before his arrest that he was asked to provide wagyu in any form at all, so he sold some old fertilized eggs and sperm. He said he would not have sold them if he had known they'd be taken to China.
Police believe that material sold by Matsudaira has already been taken to China a number of times at the request of a ranch owner on Hainan Island.