MINAMI-SOMA, Japan – Japanese authorities said high levels of radioactive cesium have been discovered in cattle in Fukushima prefecture, the site of Japan's nuclear power plant crisis, according to UPI. Radioactive cesium 4.6 times the national standard in cows raised in Minami-Soma have been found. The July 8 discovery marks the first time Japan’s national standards have been exceeded in beef.

Ten cows were tested by government officials after being processed at the Shibaura slaughterhouse, and all exhibited high levels of radioactive cesium. As a result, the Minami-Soma local government was asked by the Fukushima prefectural government to stop shipping or transporting cattle raised there.

Cattle that were contaminated were raised on a ranch located within the zone where local citizens were required to evacuate during emergencies related to the earthquake-tsunami disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The surfaces of all cattle shipped from Fukushima are tested for radiation. Last tested June 26, the cattle in question had shown no sign of radioactive materials at that time, according to government officials.